I am committed to building on the successes of the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) by supporting the passage of the VAWA Reauthorization of 2021. Among other protections, this bill reaffirms inherent Tribal authority to prosecute certain non-Indian offenders — extending protections from domestic violence and dating violence to Native American victims of sexual violence, stalking, trafficking, child abuse, elder abuse, and assault against law enforcement or justice personnel when crimes are committed on Tribal territory. Additionally, through the American Rescue Plan we provided an additional $35 million in grants for Tribes to provide temporary housing, assistance, and supportive services to victims of domestic and dating violence, as well as supplemental funding for the StrongHearts Native Helpline, and additional funding for services for sexual assault survivors. My Administration has also committed to effectively implement the requirements of Savannah’s Act and the Not Invisible Act, legislation focused on combating the issues surrounding missing or murdered Indigenous persons. The Presidential Task Force on Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives continues to convene the Department of Justice, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Health and Human Services, to address the issues from a combined public health–public safety partnership. Furthering the efforts of the task force, the White House Council on Native American Affairs will bring together all relevant Federal agencies to work with Tribal Nations on exploring additional ways to enhance prevention efforts and improve access to safety and justice. Furthermore, informed by Tribal input, the Department of the Interior recently established the Missing & Murdered Unit (MMU) within the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services to provide leadership and direction for cross-departmental and interagency work involving missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives. The MMU will help bring the weight of the Federal Government to bear when investigating these cases and marshal law enforcement resources across Federal agencies and throughout Indian country. Our commitment to addressing these issues and to strengthening these critical partnerships is unwavering. For too long, there has been too much sorrow and worry. United by our mutual investment in healthy, safe communities, we will work together to achieve lasting progress. NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 5, 2021, as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day. I call on all Americans and ask all levels of government to support Tribal governments and Tribal communities’ efforts to increase awareness of the issue of missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives through appropriate programs and activities. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth. JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.
Native cultures, languages, lands and lives were all systematically and forcibly taken through colonization. Our ancestors endured genocide and assimilation for more than five centuries. #Genocide #MMIW #MMIWG #MMIWG2S @strongheartsdv https://t.co/ufDq8MZQmj— indianz.com (@indianz) May 3, 2021
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