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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

A bill to renew MMIP Task Force funding advances

Blackfeet Nation residents march through Browning to commemorate a national day of awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous people. May 5, 2022
Aaron Bolton
/
Blackfeet Nation residents march through Browning to commemorate a national day of awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous people. May 5, 2022

A bill to renew funding for Montana’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) Task Force advanced out of the House Judiciary Committee Friday. In Montana, 26% of missing persons cases are indigenous people, despite only being 7% of the total population.

Representative Tyson Running Wolf, from Browning, is the bill's sponsor. Addressing the committee, Running Wolf said that the work of the MMIP task force is ongoing and crucial for addressing this issue in Montana.

“I’m not realizing it until I’m standing up here now, that this is what it means to be fighting for our women and children, and our loved and missing people,” he said.

The task force was set to expire this year, but the bill would fund it through the biennium. This bill also includes funding for one full time employee to help facilitate the work of the task force, and funding for the Looping in Native Communities grant program, which supports tribes efforts to identify, report and find Native American persons who are missing.