Presidential Task force heads to Michigan for American Indians experiencing high rates of violence


(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON (WLNS) – Earlier this week, a federal task force announced a series of field consultations and listening sessions to help American Indians and Alaska Natives.

The Presidential Task Force on Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives will be heading near Traverse City in May.

American Indians and Alaska Natives experience disproportionately high rates of violence, according to the Department of Justice.

President Trump has called the crisis of missing and murdered Native Americans “sobering and heartbreaking.”

The task force includes a review of Indian Country cold cases, ability to strengthen law enforcement protocols, and work with tribes to improve response to missing persons investigations.

The task force called Operation Lady Justice will meet with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa for a listening session on May 12th at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa in Acme Township.

Members of the task force include:

  • Katharine Sullivan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, designee for the Attorney General
  • Tara Sweeney, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, designee for the Secretary of the Interior
  • Terry Wade, Executive Assistant Director, Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch, Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Laura Rogers, Acting Director, Office on Violence Against Women
  • Charles Addington, Deputy Bureau Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Justice Services
  • Trent Shores, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma and Chair of the Native American Issues Subcommittee of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee
  • Jean Hovland, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Native American Affairs and Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Marcia Good of the Department of Justice serves as the Executive Director of the task force

The task force will present a progress report to the President by November of 2020, and a final report detailing its activities and accomplishments a year later.

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