U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines is urging Secretary of the Interior Debra Haaland to direct the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to hire and transfer more law enforcement personnel to Montana. Increased law enforcement personnel would provide Montana tribal nations with more resources to combat the ongoing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women crisis.
“As you are aware, Indian Country is fighting an ongoing crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women (MMIW). Tribal members make up 6.7% of Montana’s population, yet are 26% of our missing persons cases,” the letter states. “Our state’s Indian Reservations are hurting, and tribal leadership find themselves desperate for additional resources to help mitigate these crises that occur all too often. You recently made a statement regarding the ongoing MMIW crisis and how you “grieve for so many Indigenous women” who have not been given the same platform as the heartbreaking Gabby Petito case. I agree, and Montana needs the Administration to fulfill their responsibility to provide adequate resources to protect these communities if we are to make any progress in this fight.”
Read the full letter HERE.
In May 2021, Daines introduced and passed a resolution in the U.S. Senate marking May 5th as a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Daines also introduced this resolution in the 116th and 115th Congress.
On September 21, 2020, Daines passed the “Savanna’s Act,” a bipartisan bill that addresses the missing and murdered Indigenous women epidemic.
On February 7th, 2019, Daines cosponsored legislation that would commission a federal study on missing and murdered indigenous people.
On February 14, 2018, Daines sponsored and supported the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs’ passage of the Tribal Law and Order Reauthorization and Amendments Act, which included Daines’ bipartisan legislation to promote tribes’ access to national criminal databases.
On December 6, 2017, Daines’ bipartisan legislation, the Securing Urgent Resources Vital to Indian Victim Empowerment (SURVIVE) Act, passed the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. This bill strengthens services for victims of crime in Indian country.