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Department of Justice
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 21, 2020

Presidential Task Force on Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives to Resume Remote Listening Sessions

The Presidential Task Force on Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives announced four listening sessions to be conducted by teleconference in May and June.  In response to the COVID-19 health emergency, previously scheduled in-person sessions have been postponed and will be rescheduled as soon as it is safe to do so.

American Indians and Alaska Natives experience disproportionately high rates of violence.  President Trump has called the crisis of missing and murdered Native Americans “sobering and heartbreaking.”  The task force, designated Operation Lady Justice, has been empowered to review Indian Country cold cases, to strengthen law enforcement protocols, and work with tribes to improve investigations, information sharing and a more seamless response to missing persons investigations.

Tribal Listening Session Webinars are open to Tribal Leaders and others.  Sessions will include a short presentation about the current activities of the task force, followed by a listening session. 

Registration information for the following listening sessions is available at https://operationladyjustice.usdoj.gov/

May 27, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. EDT

Tribes in Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)’s Eastern Region (Tribal land located in Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and all states to the east coast)

May 29, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. EDT

Tribes in BIA’s Southern Plains, Southwest, Western and Rocky Mountain Regions (Tribal land located in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Montana and Wyoming)

June 2, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. EDT

Tribes in BIA’s Midwest and Great Plains Regions (Tribal land located in Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska)

June 3, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. EDT

Tribes in BIA’s Pacific, Northwestern and Alaska Regions (Tribal land located in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska)

The members of the task force are:

  • Katharine (Katie) 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 (Charlie) 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; and
  • Jean (Jeannie) 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 Nov. 26, 2020, and a final report detailing its activities and accomplishments by Nov. 26, 2021.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of the Department of Justice at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.  2020 also marks 171st anniversary of the Department of the Interior.  Learn more about the history of DOI at www.doi.gov/history/.

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 
20-471
Updated May 21, 2020