The Department of Justice is committed to addressing the persistent violence endured by Native American families and communities across the country, including by working with Tribal nations to address the important issues of missing or murdered indigenous persons. The Department views this work as a priority for its law enforcement components. It also recognizes the broader public safety and public health concerns that underlie many of these cases and require solutions from across the Department’s components.
The DOJ recently launched the Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) webpage (https://www.justice.gov/tribal/mmip) as part of the Department’s Tribal Justice and Safety website, which houses other Tribal initiatives at DOJ such as the Tribal Access Program, grant opportunities, Consultations, and several other resources for Tribes. The new MMIP page details DOJ’s efforts to address the disproportionately high rates of violence experienced by Native Americans, and relatedly, the high rates of indigenous persons reported missing.
On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14053, which is aimed at improving public safety and criminal justice for Native Americans and addressing the issues of missing or murdered indigenous people. President Biden’s order directs the Departments of Justice, Interior, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security to work together with Tribes to promote public safety in Native communities. The new Executive Order builds on and lifts up the work underway at the Department of Justice, including to implement Savanna’s Act and the Not Invisible Act.
In November 2021, the Department of Justice launched the Steering Committee to Address the Crisis of Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons. The Committee is tasked, in consultation with Tribal leaders and stakeholders, with reviewing the Department’s current guidance, policies, and practices to address the issue of missing and murdered indigenous persons and developing a comprehensive plan to strengthen the Department’s work, which will be submitted to the President in July 2022.
Under the Operation Lady Justice Task Force, a two-year task force established by Executive Order 13898 that sunset in 2021, the Departments of Justice, Interior, and Health and Human Services conducted Tribal consultations; developed best practices guides and resources for Tribal communities and law enforcement, as well as families, victims, and service providers; established multi-disciplinary teams to review cold cases of missing or murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives; and created a guide for families and loved ones to respond when an AI/AN adult goes missing. Many of these resources that were housed on the Operation Lady Justice website can now be found on the DOJ MMIP webpage.
The Department of Justice will be continually adding to and updating the MMIP webpage so please check back often for new resources and updates on DOJ activities.
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Director of Tribal Affairs
Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
Office of Partnership and Engagement
Last modified: May 4, 2022