Savanna's Act moves forward


Savanna’s Act has taken another step forward in the United States House of Representatives. The act was unanimously approved by the House Judiciary Committee earlier today, paving the way for the continuance of its journey through Congress.

The act, named after 22-year-old Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, who was murdered in 2017, deals with the epidemic of missing and murdered Native Americans. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, of New York, said, “This crisis is appalling and threatens millions of innocent people living both on tribal lands and beyond.”

The act’s purpose is to clarify the responsibilities of Federal, State, Tribal, and local governments and law enforcement agencies with respect to responding to cases of missing and murdered Indians; to increase coordination and communication among Federal, State, Tribal, and local law enforcement agencies, including medical examiner and coroner offices; to empower Tribal governments with the resources and information necessary to effectively respond to cases of missing and murdered Indians, including Tribes located in any State known as a “PL–280 State”; and to increase the collection of data related to missing and murdered Indian men, women, and children and the sharing of information among Federal, State, and Tribal officials responsible for responding to and investigating cases of missing and murdered Indians by clarifying and correcting limitation in the Federal database.

North Dakota Representative Kelly Armstrong was among those who introduced the bill in May 2019.