NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Missing Indigenous people is a problem, nationwide, but it’s something that’s also happening right here in North Dakota.
But what’s being done to find them, more specifically at the federal level?
You may not know it, but the FBI does not actually deal with missing persons cases.
Instead, the bureau mostly works on major or violent crimes, but sometimes its investigations coincide with a missing person’s case, or they find clues and evidence that lead them to tribal lands.
To help missing indigenous cases, the FBI is closing the gap with tribal authorities to help them access some of the information, after agents uncover during an investigation.
So, instead of multiple federal agencies not working in sync, this will at least bring parallel investigations together. And it’s all working with family members, one-on-one.
“So, what we’ll do is they’ll come in, we’ll greet them, we’ll do an intake form with them,” said Victim’s Specialist of the FBI, Maricela Savalas, “And in that intake form, we’re trying to capture the information in one spot. That form is provided to each of the agencies (Bureau of Indian Affairs, FBI, etc.), and we’ll go to each of those agencies one at a time to see what information they can provide with those family members, one on one. A victim specialist will be with them and walking with them from each station.”
The federal project is bringing together resources for everyone in one place, in order to provide families of the missing. There will also be an opportunity to create a police report, provide a DNA sample, and finally get resources for their family members and themselves.
To check out the project for yourselves, click the FBI’s page here.
To check out the National Missing and Unidentified Person’s System, click here.
And to check out all the resources provided by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, click here.