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Justice Department working with tribes on missing persons

Missing and Murdered Native Americans
Posted at 7:40 PM, Apr 01, 2021

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Justice Department has finalized its first plan to help address the problem of missing and murdered Native people on one of the largest reservations in Montana.

It's aimed at mobilizing local and federal resources and expanding the investigative capabilities of tribal law enforcement agencies.

But advocates say the effort has a big hole because it doesn't apply if someone goes missing off the reservation.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes are the first in the nation to complete a community response plan.

But according to The Associated Press, there are some glaring issues, including a plan for when a tribal citizen goes missing off a reservation or outside tribal lands.

In Montana, Native Americans make up less than 7% of the state's population but account for 25% of reported missing person cases, The AP reported.

President Donald Trump initiated a federal task force to look into the issue and his attorney general committed to hiring 11 coordinators at U.S. attorneys offices across the country.