Tester Statement on Implementation of His Not Invisible Act to Combat Murdered and Missing Indigenous Persons Crisis
U.S. Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after the Department of Interior (DOI) announced it would begin implementation of his Not Invisible Act, which was signed into law last year and will increase coordination within the federal government to identify and combat violent crime in Indian Country.
This is one of Tester's landmark bills to combat the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) crisis, and the steps taken today include establishing a Joint Commission led by DOI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) on reducing violent crime against American Indians and Alaska Natives.
"These decisive and early steps to implement my Not Invisible Act-which will strengthen coordination between the federal government and Tribal communities-show Washington is finally starting to get serious about tackling the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people. This increased communication will give Tribal, local, and state leaders a seat at the table to work with federal agencies to reduce violent crime in Indian Country. But we still have work to do, which is why I'm going to keep holding the federal government accountable to make sure folks in Native communities are safe and that law enforcement has the resources it needs to get the job done."
Tester's Not Invisible Act:
- Requires DOI to designate a coordinator within the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services to coordinate violent crime prevention efforts across federal agencies who must submit an annual report summarizing coordination activities and recommendations for improving federal coordination efforts; and
- Directs DOI and DOJ to establish a commission composed of relevant federal agencies, Tribal leaders, Tribal law enforcement, mental health providers, survivors, and state and local law enforcement to develop recommendations on improving the federal response to MMIP, human trafficking, and violent crime in Indian Country.
The Not Invisible Act was signed into law in October 2020.