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ICYMI: Rep. Ruben Gallego Leads First House Hearing on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

March 14, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Earlier today, the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States held the first ever hearing on missing and murdered indigenous women in the U.S. House of Representatives.

American Indian and Alaska Native women are murdered at rates more than 10 times the national average. One study found that 5,712 cases of missing or murdered Indigenous women were reported in 2016. Unfortunately, even these high numbers do not accurately reflect the scope of the crisis, as crimes affecting Native Americans often go unreported or uninvestigated due to lack of access to state, local and federal data systems and severe jurisdictional roadblocks in our criminal justice system.

Witnesses Professor Sarah Deer of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Representative Ruth Buffalo of the Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, Mary Kathryn Nagle of the Cherokee Nation and National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, and Tami Truett Jerue of the Anvik Tribe and Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center delivered expert testimony on the issue during today’s hearing.

“It’s clear that Native American communities aren’t receiving the support, attention, and resources they need to address the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego, chair of the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States.

“It is shameful that Congress has gone so long without confronting this issue, and I am glad that we started to remedy that today. We need to work in partnership with the communities that have been struck by these tragedies in order to find real-world, tangible solutions to this crisis and end this cycle of violence.”

Rep. Gallego’s opening statement can be viewed here.

The full hearing can be viewed here.