Home News Minnesota is getting additional funding to investigate MMIW and the long-awaited move, local activists said

Minnesota is getting additional funding to investigate MMIW and the long-awaited move, local activists said

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Minneapolis – The Department of Justice invests heavily in resolving cases involving deceased and missing Indigenous people.

Minnesota has been selected as one of the regions receiving additional funds and manpower to address the growing problem in this community.

Although they make up the smallest part of the US population, Native Americans are the second highest group of missing persons.

Now there will be American lawyers dedicated solely to finding them and their killers.

Andrew Luger says his first case as a US attorney involved abuse in India. And since then, he knows more can be done.

“I think our office and other US law firms just didn’t have the resources, the experience and the training, and the FBI, to do what we’ve always wanted to do, which is — for example, try to research and deal with these cases upfront before they happen.”

The United States Bureau of Indian Affairs estimates that more than 4,200 missing and dead Indigenous cases remain unsolved.

That’s why the Department of Justice has appointed five US prosecutors and five US coordinators to work exclusively on these crimes.

“So this gives us an opportunity to coordinate more closely with tribal law enforcement, bring in experts, compare sightings across the country by having people coordinate this work,” Luger said.

It’s an expanded effort that local activists say is long overdue.

“We have a lot of cold cases, a lot of untold stories, a lot of families waiting to find out what happened, waiting for someone to investigate these crimes, waiting for someone to call,” A- declared. Nicole Matthews, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition.

Matthews hopes that having more resources — especially at the federal level — will help bring more attention to this problem.

“We all deserve the same level of exposure. There are a lot of Gabby Petitos in the Indigenous community who have never had this kind of exposure and who wouldn’t have had their faces all over the country like that,” Matthews said.

Luger says they’re being put into positions now. New employees should be in place and connected to these communities this fall.

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