YouTube: Heitkamp Calls on FBI Director to Improve Protections in Indian Country
The leader of the Federal Bureau of Investigation will visit the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation in North Dakota on Monday. Director FBI James Comey will meet with tribal leaders and tribal law enforcement on the reservation, according to the office of Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota). At a hearing last October, Heitkamp had pressed Comey to visit a tribe in the Great Plains, something he admitted he hadn't done since taking office in September 2013 although he has gone to other parts of Indian Country, mainly in the Southwest. "There is no place in the United States where you have more responsibility than in Indian Country – where too often traffickers can go invisible and undetected, without fear of prosecution because jurisdictionally it’s no man's land – and there is no cop on the beat," Heitkamp told Comey at the time, The Lakota Country Times reported.
Tribal police vehicles on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota. Photo from Three Affiliated Tribes Police Department / Facebook
The tribe maintains its own police department but Heitkamp has called for additional federal resources. Last year, the FBI established an office in Williston, about 73 miles from the western border of the Fort Berthold Reservation. That office -- which Comey will visit during his trip to North Dakota -- is focusing on Indian Country crime as well as issues that have arisen due to the energy development in the Bakken Region. An increase in sex trafficking -- including among girls -- prompted Native women to develop a comprehensive human trafficking law that the tribe approved in December 2014.
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