President Trump signed two bills into law that address deficiencies in Native American missing persons and murder statistics. On Saturday, he signed the Savanna’s Act and Not Invisible Act, while noting he’s the first American president to address the issue.
The Not Invisible Act establishes a task force on violent crime, which is made up of tribal leaders, federal partners and law enforcement agencies.
Savanna’s law aims to tackle the issue on a grander scale while looking to establish a database to include the gender and age of the reported victims. Additionally, it will direct different levels of governments to coordinate best practices for handling investigations.
The bill was introduced by Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) in 2019. It later passed through the Senate in March of 2020 and then in the House in September of 2020.
“What we’ve gotta do is deal with the jurisdictional loopholes that criminals knowingly exploit,” stated Murkowski. “We have to improve the coordination among law enforcement at all levels, we have to provide the resources and they have to be significant.”
It’s named after pregnant 22-year-old Savanna Lafontaine-Greywind who was a member of the Spirit Lake Nation in North Dakota. In 2017, her body was found floating in the nearby Red River with her baby cut from her womb.
The president and vice president of the Navajo Nation commended lawmakers and President Trump for passing the bills, which they hope will bring justice and healing to many people.