Indianz.Com on SoundCloud: Senate Democrats Call for Action on #MMIW

AUDIO/VIDEO: Democrats call for action to address #MMIW crisis

Led by Sen. Tom Udall (D-New Mexico), Democratic lawmakers are calling for the passage of bills to address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women.

In speeches on the U.S. Senate floor on Tuesday, the lawmakers spoke about the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. The day, observed on May 5, falls on the birthday of Hanna Harris, a young citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe who went missing and was murdered in Montana in 2013.

"It's critical that we understand the magnitude of violence that Native women face," said Udall, who serves as vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

During his remarks, Udall displayed a portrait of Harris, who was only 21 years old when she was murdered. She left behind a son who was only 10 months old at the time.

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada): Congress Must Act to Protect the Lives of Native Women and Girls #NotInvisible

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada), Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington), Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minnesota) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) also spoke of the need to take action to address the #MMIW crisis and to strengthen tribal jurisdiction over crimes that occur on their homelands.

"It's a crisis we need to address now," said Smith, who also serves on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

Bills with provisions to address missing and murdered indigenous women and girls include:

S.227, known as Savanna's Act in honor of Savanna Marie Greywind, a Spirit Lake Nation woman who went missing and was murdered in North Dakota in 2017.

H.R.1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. #MMIW provisions are found in Title IX, titled "Safety for Indian Women."

H.R.2438, the Not Invisible Act of 2019. The bill is sponsored by all four tribal citizens who serve in the U.S. House.

The speeches lasted about 54 minutes, Audio can be found on the Indianz.Com SoundCloud.

Full Video from Sen. Tom Udall (D-New Mexico)

WATCH LIVE: I’m on the floor with fellow U.S. Senate Democrats to demand action on #VAWA and the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. There are more than 5000 documented cases of missing Native women. Senate GOP must join us to act to ensure #JusticeForNativeWomen. #MMIW

Posted by Senator Tom Udall on Tuesday, May 7, 2019

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