MTPR

Missing and murdered Indigenous people

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Thursday it won’t pursue federal charges in the death of a young girl whose body was found near Lame Deer on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation late last year. The Office determined it could not prove foul play.


Montana’s Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force met for the second time in Great Falls, Montana this weekend. The task force focused on the management of databases to find people and overlaps and gaps in jurisdictions for who is spearheading the search.


July is the second month in a row that two federal agencies have failed to provide input on five bills that address missing and murdered indigenous people, effectively stalling the bills.

Advocates say peoples’ lives hang in the balance.

After two years in the making, the Canadian government released its National Inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous persons on Monday. The report concluded that the violence committed against indigenous communities amounts to a “race-based genocide” by the Canadian government.


Montana Attorney General Tim Fox on Thursday announced the members of a new task force that will address missing and murdered indigenous persons throughout the state.

Attorney General Tim Fox announces plans to hire a missing persons specialist, May 21, 2019.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Department of Justice announced plans Tuesday to hire a new specialist focusing on missing persons cases in the state. The position was created during the last legislative session amid public outcry over the high rate of Native American women and girls who are murdered or go missing.


Montana’s Democratic Senator Jon Tester spoke on the U.S. Senate floor Tuesday urging his colleagues to pass a handful of federal bills aimed at addressing what’s been called a crisis of missing and murdered Native American women and girls.

'Hanna's Act' Missing Persons Bill Clears The State Senate

Apr 16, 2019
Montana State Sen. Diane Sands (D) - Missoula
Mike Albans / Montana Public Radio

HELENA—After a turbulent journey through the Montana Legislature, the bill named after Hannah Harris, who was found murdered on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in 2013, passed the Senate 37-13 Tuesday.

Rep. Sharon Stewart Peregoy (D) Crow Agency
Montana Legislature

The fate of two bills that could change the way Montana investigates and studies missing persons, especially in cases involving indigenous people, have been chained together in the political shuffle of the legislative session.

Senate lawmakers Tuesday restored previously cut funding for the bill known as Hanna’s Act, named for a woman murdered in 2013 on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.

A sign from a Jan. 9, 2019 missing and murdered Indigenous women vigil in Missoula.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Proponents of a proposed Montana bill meant to address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women said Monday they now believe that it has been amended to become toothless.

As originally drafted, Hanna’s Act would have directed the state Department of Justice to hire a missing persons specialist to coordinate with local, state, federal and tribal law enforcement on cases. The idea being to improve response times by smoothing over jurisdictional issues.

Pages