What is Savanna's Act and Not Invisible Act? Trump vows to address issue of missing and murdered Native Americans
A White House statement read: 'These two bills reinforce many actions the President has already undertaken to fulfill his promise that Missing and Murdered Native Americans are no longer forgotten'
President Donald Trump announced on October 10 that he has signed the Savanna's Act and the Not Invisible Act. He took to Twitter and shared, “As the 1st President to formally recognize the issue of Missing & Murdered Native Americans, today, I was proud to sign Savanna’s Act & the Not Invisible Act. We have also provided $295 Million to support public safety & crime victims. Forgotten NO MORE! #OperationLadyJustice.”
As the 1st President to formally recognize the issue of Missing & Murdered Native Americans, today, I was proud to sign Savanna’s Act & the Not Invisible Act. We have also provided $295 Million to support public safety & crime victims. Forgotten NO MORE! #OperationLadyJustice— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2020
A statement from the White House read, “President Donald J. Trump was the first president to formally recognize the tragedy of Missing and Murdered Native Americans, when he issued a Proclamation in May of 2019 drawing attention to this issue. Today, he proudly signed into law S. 227, Savanna’s Act, which directs the Department of Justice to develop law enforcement protocols to address the issue, and S. 982, the Not Invisible Act of 2019, which directs the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice to establish a joint commission on violent crime within and against the Native American community. These two bills reinforce many actions the President has already undertaken to fulfill his promise that Missing and Murdered Native Americans are no longer forgotten.”
What is Savanna's Act and Not Invisible Act?
According to a September Harper’s Bazaar report, Savanna's Act, which is named after Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a 22-year-old woman who was brutally killed, was unanimously passed by the Senate in March after Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski reintroduced it. Originally, the bill was introduced in 2017 by then Senator Heidi Heitkamp. The Not Invisible Act was introduced by Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, Murkowski, and Senator Jon Tester in 2019.
Savanna's Act needs the Justice Department to report statistics on missing or murdered Native Americans, come up with guidelines for responses to cases of missing or murdered Native Americans, conduct outreach to tribes and Native American organizations, and provide training to law enforcement agencies on how to record tribal enrollment for victims in federal databases.
The Not Invisible Act matches Savanna's Act by focusing on the increase in coordination efforts to reduce violence against Native Americans. This bill instructs that the Department of the Interior “designate an official within the Bureau of Indian Affairs to coordinate prevention efforts, grants, and programs related to missing Indians and the murder and human trafficking of Indians.” Also, both the Department of Interior and the Justice Department must establish a joint commission that will develop recommendations on how to combat violence against Native peoples.
As per the Harper’s Bazaar article, at the time of passing of the two bills, Angel Charley, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women, in a statement said, “We have arrived at a moment in history. The signing of these two crucial bills into law will commemorate hundreds of years of advocacy. We are looking forward to seeing these bills become law because our women and children deserve these enhanced protections.”
Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, had said in a press release, “We appreciate our House colleagues for passing the bill today and sending it on to the president to become law. At the same time, we continue working to advance more legislation like this to strengthen public safety in tribal communities and ensure victims of crime receive support and justice.”