Rep. Deb Haaland addressed Congress Thursday morning on the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women.
On reservations, American Indian women have murder rates 10 times the national average. Due to a lack of coordination between federal, state, and tribal governments, there are dozens of unreported and unsolved murders on tribal lands every year.
Here in New Mexico, there was public outrage after the death of 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike who was kidnapped and killed near Shiprock in 2016.
Thursday, Haaland gave an emotional introduction to the hearing before others gave testimonials.
“The silent crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women has been my top priority since long before being sworn into Congress and I’m appreciative that I am here today to hear your testimony to help find solutions to this long overdue issue in Indian country,” said Haaland.
Congress is now in the process of improving communications on these types of crimes and learning how to better provide basic protections to indigenous women.