johnhoeven
Sen. John Hoeven (R-North Dakota) serves as chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Photo: SCIA
Hoeven Statement After President Signs Savanna’s Act Into Law
Senator Helped Introduce, Secure Passage of Legislation to Address Cases of Missing and Murdered Native Americans
Monday, October 12, 2020

BISMARCK, North Dakota – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, on October 10, 2020, issued the following statement after President Donald Trump signed Savanna’s Act [S.227] into law. Hoeven helped introduce and secure passage of the legislation, which requires reporting on missing and murdered Native Americans and directs the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to consult with Indian Tribes while developing national law enforcement guidelines.

The bill is named for Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind from North Dakota who was tragically murdered in 2017, and was introduced by Senator Heidi Heitkamp last Congress and reintroduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski in the current Congress. Hoeven advanced the legislation through the Senate Indian Affairs Committee last November and helped secure its passage in the Senate earlier this year.

“We appreciate the President signing Savanna’s Act into law. This legislation addresses a tragic issue in Indian Country and will help to establish better law enforcement practices,” said Hoeven. “Savanna’s Act is part of our efforts to strengthen public safety in tribal communities. In addition to Savanna’s Act, we’ve also worked to secure funding to establish a tribal law enforcement training center in North Dakota and yesterday we marked the opening of this new facility at Camp Grafton.”

Yesterday, Hoeven led federal, state and tribal officials in marking the opening of the U.S. Indian Law Enforcement Advanced Training Center and Proclamation signing ceremony. Hoeven secured $2.5 million for new BIA law enforcement specialized trainings at Camp Grafton. These courses will include training on investigating cases involving missing or murdered Indians. The senator included this funding in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 appropriations legislation and worked with the Interior Department and state officials, including Governor Burgum and Adjutant General Dohrmann, to host the trainings in North Dakota.

In addition, the senator is working to advance:

S.210, the Tribal Law and Order Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2019, which would reauthorize and strengthen several key programs to improve tribal justice and public safety for Indian communities.

S.211, the SURVIVE Act, which would expand critical victims services by requiring a 5 percent allocation from the Crime Victims Fund be allocated directly to Indian Tribes.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Hoeven secured a key provision of his SURVIVE Act in the Senate’s FY2020 appropriations bill by securing more than $150 million to assist victims of crime on the reservations. He has done this since FY2018.

In addition to Hoeven and Murkowski, Savanna’s Act was introduced by Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Christopher A. Coons (D-DE), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jon Tester (D-MT), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).