After passing in the House last month, President Trump officially signed a bill to address cases of missing and murdered Native Americans.
Savanna’s Act, named in memory of North Dakota resident Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind who was brutally murdered in 2017, seeks to combat violence against the most vulnerable members of the Native American community.
Specifically, the bill will:
- Improve tribal access to certain federal crime information databases and mandates the Attorney General and Interior Secretary consult with tribes on how to further develop these databases and access to them;
- Require the Justice, Interior, and Health and Human Services departments to solicit recommendations from tribes on enhancing the safety of Native American women and improving access to crime information databases and criminal justice information systems during the annual consultations mandated under the Violence Against Women Act;
- Require the creation of standardized guidelines for responding to cases of missing and murdered Native Americans, in consultations with tribes, which will include guidance on inter-jurisdictional cooperation among tribes and federal, state, and local law enforcement; and
- Require statistics on missing and murdered Native American women, and recommendations on how to improve data collection, to be included in an annual report to Congress.
The bill was originally introduced by a former North Dakota U.S. Senator, Heidi Heitkamp in 2017.