You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 29, 2019

U.S. Attorney Trent Shores Appointed to the Presidential Task Force on Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives

This week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order establishing the Task Force on Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives.  U.S. Attorney Trent Shores, Chair of the Native American Issues Subcommittee of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, has been appointed to the task force.

The task force will work closely with American Indian and Alaska Native communities to develop protocols, procedures, and best practices to address new and unsolved missing and murdered indigenous persons cases — particularly missing and murdered women and girls. The task force will be co-chaired by the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Interior.

“I am honored that President Trump appointed me to this task force. Tribal leaders from across America have spoken and we have listened,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores for the Northern District of Oklahoma and Chair of the Native American Issues Subcommittee. “Now is the time for action. For far too long Native Americans and Alaska Natives, especially women, have experienced unacceptably high rates of violence. I look forward to working with Attorney General Barr and Secretary Bernhardt to address this tragic issue.”

The executive order states that the task force will consult with tribal governments on the scope and nature of the issues regarding missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives. Members will address data sharing among the various jurisdictions and law enforcement agencies, how to better leverage existing criminal data bases, and how to improve the way investigators and prosecutors respond to the high volume of cases and to the investigative challenges presented in cases involving female victims. The task force will further establish a multi-disciplinary, multi-jurisdiction team, including representatives from tribal law enforcement and the Departments of Justice and Interior, to review cold cases involving the missing and murdered.

The President also charged the task force with addressing the need for greater clarity concerning roles, authorities, and jurisdiction throughout the lifecycle of a case. This includes, in part, developing and publishing best-practices guidance, such as best practices related to communicating with affected families from initiation of an investigation through case resolution; it also includes developing public campaigns to bring awareness to resources needed or available for families who have missing or murdered loved ones.

You can read the Executive Order here.

Members also appointed to the task force are the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Secretary for Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior; Director of the Office on Violence Against Women, Department of Justice; Director of the Office of Justice Services, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior; Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans, Department of Health and Human Services; and representatives of other executive departments, agencies, and offices as the co-chairs may, from time to time, designate.

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Public Affairs 918-382-2755
Updated November 29, 2019