Date: Thursday, July 14, 2022
WASHINGTON — Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland today delivered remarks at the fourth convening of the Trilateral Working Group (TWG) on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls, which was started by leaders from the United States, Canada and Mexico to address the high rates of violence against women and girls from Indigenous communities as a regional concern. The Department of the Interior hosted this year’s TWG convening on behalf of the United States government.
Secretary Haaland’s remarks highlighted the importance of international collaboration to address the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples. The Interior Department is working with Tribal governments, law enforcement agencies, survivors, families of the missing, and all communities impacted to coordinate interagency and international collaboration to address this crisis.
Within the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris administration, Secretary Haaland created a new Missing and Murdered Unit within the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services (BIA-OJS) to pursue justice for missing or murdered Indigenous Peoples. The unit is providing leadership and direction for cross-departmental and interagency work involving missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Secretary Haaland is also implementing the Not Invisible Act. Together with the Department of Justice, the Interior Department has established a Joint Commission on reducing violent crime against American Indians and Alaska Natives and on Tribal lands. The Commission will hold hearings, take testimony, and receive evidence in order to develop recommendations for the federal government to combat violent crime against Indians and within Tribal lands.