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Delegate Crotty Goes to Washington

Delegate Crotty Goes to Washington
December 14
08:52 2018

Navajo Nation Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs this week.

The committee held an oversight hearing called “Missing and Murdered: Confronting the Silent Crisis in Indian Country.” Following the hearing tribal leaders were given the chance to provide testimony to the committee and to advocate for the passage of S.1942 – also known as Savanna’s Act. The act is named for Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, of North Dakota, who was murdered in 2017.

“I am here today on behalf of the Navajo Nation to implore this committee to intervene to stop the alarming rates of our tribal members who turn up missing or murdered,” Crotty said. A lack of resources and failure with jurisdictional communications keeps the epidemic of missing and murdered native women growing, Crotty said. It also affects transgendered women in tribal or urban communities, she added.

“In 2005 and 2009, three Navajo transgender women were missing in Albuquerque, and were later found murdered – all within a block of one another,” Crotty said.

Savanna’s Act was introduced by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D–ND) to raise awareness of the high rates of missing and murdered women in Indian Country. The bill seeks to improve tribal access to federal databases that track missing and unidentified persons, specifically American Indians and Alaska Natives.

It would also require the Department of Justice to consult with Indian tribes while developing national law enforcement and justice guidelines when responding to cases involving missing and murdered Native
Americans.

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