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Apr 3, 2019

Tester Leads Bipartisan Effort to Help Tribes, Law Enforcement Combat Violence Against Native Women

Senator’s Not Invisible Act will consolidate tribal and federal efforts to combat the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women crisis and address human trafficking in Indian Country

(U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester, along with Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), introduced bipartisan legislation to help Tribes, law enforcement, and the federal government better collaborate to combat the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) crisis today.

Tester's bipartisan Not Invisible Act would create an advisory committee on violent crimes against Native people composed of multiple federal agencies, Tribal leaders, survivors, support service providers, and state, local and tribal law enforcement organizations. It would also require the Secretary of the Interior to designate an official within the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Office of Justice Services to coordinate violent crime prevention efforts across federal agencies.

"A lack of communication and coordination between the federal government and tribal communities in cases involving missing, murdered, and trafficked Indigenous women has slowed law enforcement and delayed justice," Tester said. "We have to do better at addressing this crisis. That's why this bipartisan bill gives tribal, local, and state leaders-the folks who understand this issue best-a seat at the table to work with federal agencies to more effectively combat the MMIW crisis."

The advisory committee would be responsible for making recommendations to the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice, as well as federal, state, and Tribal law enforcement agencies, about how to best respond to, report, and prevent violence and human trafficking throughout Indian Country.

As a former Chairman and senior member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, Tester has taken a three-pronged approach to combating the MMIW crisis by raising awareness, empowering tribes and finding solutions.

Tester recently introduced Savanna's Act to improve information sharing between tribal and federal law enforcement agencies and increase data collection on missing persons in Indian Country.

Earlier this year, Tester also reintroduced the SURVIVE Act to give tribes access to resources that help survivors of sexual and domestic violence, and called for a federal study on the MMIW crisis by introducing the Studying the Missing and Murdered Indian Crisis Act.

The text of Tester's Not Invisible Act is available HERE.

More information on Tester's work to combat the MMIW crisis is available HERE.

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.

Billings

Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768

Bozeman

Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647

Butte

Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586

Helena

Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462

Kalispell

8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974

Missoula

130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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