Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Mark Fox is positive about the impact the Savanna Act will have for reporting missing and murdered Indigenous Americans.
The bill is named for Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a Spirit Lake Tribal member who went missing in Fargo when she was eight months pregnant.
Nine days later, she was found dead and her child was found to have been abducted by the woman who later confessed to Greywind’s murder.
The bill would require the reporting of missing and murdered Indigenous Americans and also directs the Departments of Justice and the Interior to consult with tribes while developing national law enforcement guidelines.
Fox said having databases and getting federal help is what will make this act successful.
“Because if you don’t do those things, and you get a significant number of Native women, their perception is always going to be out there in the public otherwise is that, ‘these individuals don’t matter as much as other people do,'” said Fox.
“And, we have to show people that isn’t true. And the only way you can do that is to be proactive. Get those things done.”
Right now, the Three Affiliated Tribes do not currently have access to any databases relating to missing or murdered people.