Federal legislation for improving law enforcement practices around missing and murdered Native American people has passed the U.S. House and goes to President Donald Trump.
Savanna's Act is named in honor of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a 22-year-old pregnant Fargo woman who was killed in 2017, her baby cut from her womb.
The bill was reintroduced last year by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, after former U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., proposed it in 2017. U.S. Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, both R-N.D., co-sponsored the reintroduced bill.
“Savanna’s Act addresses a tragic issue in Indian Country and helps establish better law enforcement practices to track, solve and prevent these crimes against Native Americans,” Hoeven said in a statement Monday. “We appreciate our House colleagues for passing the bill today and sending it on to the president to become law. At the same time, we continue working to advance more legislation like this to strengthen public safety in tribal communities and ensure victims of crime receive support and justice.”
Hoeven is chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.
Savanna's Act seeks to clarify responsibilities of federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement agencies in responding to missing and murdered Indigenous people, and to provide guidelines for responding and annual reporting requirements.
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