August first was the big day: all the changes North Dakota lawmakers set in motion earlier in the year went into effect.
KX News is putting you first in the weeks ahead, to make sure you know what’s new on state lawbooks.
MHA citizen and State Representative Ruth Buffalo made the trip from Fargo this morning, to tell us about a package of bills she advocated for in 2019.
The four house bills passed, and together, they aim to improve resources, to bring missing Indigenous women and children home.
We will now keep data on missing and murdered Native women for the first time in the state’s history. And the bills allotted money and incentives for further law enforcement training, and to train hotel staff to watch out for human trafficking happening under their noses.
The National Native American Resource Center says 84 percent of Indigenous American women have experienced some type of violence.
Rep. Ruth Buffalo shares, “It would be good to get to a place of being in a proactive place, versus always operating from a crisis standpoint, and trying to fix things as they arise. So I think really working to be proactive, trying to work upstream, trying to get to the root cause of these issues.”
Representative Buffalo says gathering data is key to finding out just how often Native women are taken and killed in North Dakota.
And being just over a year after the discovery of Olivia Lone Bear’s remains, she says it hits especially close to home.