In a signing ceremony attended by Attorney General Kris Mayes, Senator Theresa Hatathlie, Gila River Indian Community Lieutenant Governor Monica Antone, and other tribal leaders, Governor Katie Hobbs signed an Executive Order establishing the Task Force on Missing and Murdered Indigenous People.
Please click here to read the order.
This is the next step following bipartisan efforts over the last three years in Arizona and across the country (through the efforts of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland) in addressing the tragedies, committed over decades to missing and murdered Indigenous People.
The tasks force’s mission is to:
- Gather data with regards to the causes of missing and murdered Indigenous People cases.
- Recommend services for victims’ families.
- Look for solutions to prevent these crimes and create an infrastructure to help investigate and prosecute these incidents along with providing vital social services and intervention systems for victims and their families.
The task force will include representatives from:
- The State Senate and House.
- The Attorney General’s office.
- The Department of Public Safety.
- Tribal Nations.
- “An Attorney General or Judge from a Tribal Nation.”
- “One law enforcement professional from a county in Arizona.”
- “Five members of the public who have a background in victim advocacy, legal services, or health services.”
Recommendations from the task force will be annually presented to the Governor’s office from 2023 to 2026.
Commenting in a Gubernatorial press release, Governor Hobbs stated:
“For too long, our state has ignored tribal leaders’ pleas for help addressing the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People. Today we are taking the first of many steps to stop the abuse, exploitation, and violence against Indigenous Peoples. I want to thank the Indigenous People’s Caucus at the state legislature, along with tribal leaders statewide, who have been instrumental in raising awareness of this epidemic and for laying the groundwork for this task force.”
The Governor also released a post on social media, saying:
Today, alongside tribal leaders, I signed an Executive Order establishing the Task Force on Missing and Murdered Indigenous People. For too long, our state has ignored tribal leaders’ pleas for help addressing the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People. Today we are… https://t.co/cT3SkwHGIy pic.twitter.com/57r8iPK5hh
— Governor Katie Hobbs (@GovernorHobbs) March 8, 2023
Attorney General Kris Mayes also posted, relaying:
As a state, we must bring everyone to the table to solve the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People crisis. @GovernorHobbs' task force will help us do just that. My office is committed to working with the Tribal Nations and our partners to prevent and solve these crimes. pic.twitter.com/MgjluqaFaW
— Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes (@AZAGMayes) March 8, 2023
Arizona Senate Democrats posted:
Today is a good day. After years of work to protect our Native communities, Governor Hobbs signed an Executive Order establishing the Task Force on Missing and Murdered Indigenous People.
Senator Hatathlie will serve on the Task Force as Chair and will continue the good work… https://t.co/xR711GHav3 pic.twitter.com/a7DkgZOKVg
— Arizona Senate Democrats (@AZSenateDems) March 8, 2023
Former LD 18 State Representative and current San Marcos District Justice of the Peace Jennifer Jermaine, a champion in the cause of bringing attention and action to the plight of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People commented on the Hobbs Executive Order:
“I’m glad to see Governor Hobbs and Senator Hatathlie continue this important work in partnership with our Tribal Nations and urban Indigenous communities.”
What do you think?