A march for missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo: Cassie Johnson / C Johnson Photography

Wife of Sen. McCain on witness list for hearing on trafficking in Indian Country

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs is bringing in a high-profile witness as it looks into trafficking of Native Americans.

Cindy McCain, the wife of Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), is among the witnesses at the committee's hearing on Wednesday. She serves as co-chair of the Arizona Human Trafficking Council and she's been lobbying Congress on behalf of trafficking victims.

Another advocate on the witness list is Nicole Matthews, a citizen of the White Earth Nation. She serves as executive director of the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition, which helped produce a landmark report into trafficking of Native victims in international ports.

McCain and Matthews will be testifying alongside representatives of federal agencies that are responsible for investigating and prosecuting trafficking of Native Americans. But with the exception of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, none of the agencies regularly collect information that would help determine the extent of the problem, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The hearing takes place on Wednesday at 2:30pm Eastern in Room 628 of the Senate Dirksen Office Building. The witness list follows:
Director, Homeland Security and Justice Issues
U.S. Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC

Director, Office of Tribal Justice
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, DC

Acting Deputy Director – Justice Services
Bureau of Indian Affairs
U.S. Department of the Interior
Washington, DC

Executive Director
Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition
St. Paul, MN

Co-Chair AZ Governor’s Human Trafficking Council
Phoenix, AZ

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Notice:
Oversight Hearing on "The GAO Reports on Human Trafficking of Native Americans in the United States" (September 27, 2017)

Government Accountability Office Reports:
Action Needed to Identify the Number of Native American Victims Receiving Federally-funded Services (April 6, 2017)
Information on Cases in Indian Country or that Involved Native Americans (July 24, 2017)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Report:
Racial and Ethnic Differences in Homicides of Adult Women and the Role of Intimate Partner Violence — United States, 2003–2014 (July 21, 2017)

Join the Conversation

Related Stories
Cronkite News: Senate committee takes up bill to combat online sex trafficking (September 20, 2017)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs reschedules hearing on human trafficking (September 19, 2017)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs cancels business meeting and hearing (July 26, 2017)
Report confirms Native women suffer from high rate of homicide in nation (July 24, 2017)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee schedules hearing on human trafficking (July 17, 2017)
More data needed to address human trafficking in Indian Country (April 19, 2017)
Attorney General vows help for public safety in Indian Country (April 18, 2017)
Zinke cites 'heart-breaking' crime rates against Native women (April 18, 2017)
Native women push for more action on missing and murdered sisters (February 16, 2017)