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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 29, 2020

U.S. Attorney Appoints First Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Coordinator

EUGENE, Ore.—U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced today the appointment of Cedar Wilkie Gillette to serve as the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) Coordinator for the District of Oregon.

As the District of Oregon’s first MMIP coordinator, Ms. Wilkie Gillette will gather reliable data to identify MMIP cases connected to Oregon; conduct outreach with tribal communities to assist in the creation and implementation of community action plans; coordinate with tribal, local, state, and federal law enforcement in the development of protocols and procedures for responding to and addressing MMIP cases; and promote improved data collection and analyses throughout Oregon.

Working in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Eugene, Ms. Wilkie Gillette will serve tribal communities and victims throughout Oregon.

“We are very excited to welcome Ms. Wilkie Gillette into this important new position designed to serve native crime victims and their families. For generations, American Indians and Alaskan Natives have suffered from disproportionately high levels of violence. This is unacceptable,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “Ms. Wilkie Gillette is eminently qualified for this role and will join a long history of District of Oregon staff committed to reducing violent crime in tribal communities.”

Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Ms. Wilkie Gillette served as a law fellow for Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law organization. She has a juris doctorate from the Vermont Law School and a bachelor’s degree in applied social justice and human rights activism from the University of Minnesota. Ms. Wilkie Gillette is an enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation and a direct descendant of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. She has conducted extensive research on indigenous human rights and environmental justice issues.

On November 22, 2019, Attorney General William Barr launched a national strategy to address missing and murdered Native Americans. When establishing the MMIP Initiative, the Department of Justice made an initial investment of $1.5 million to hire MMIP coordinators to serve with U.S. Attorney’s Offices in 11 states, including Oregon.

The strategy also calls for the deployment of the FBI’s most advanced response capabilities when needed, improved data collection and analysis, and training to support local response efforts.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Component(s): 
Updated June 29, 2020