Yurok Tribe joins U.S. Marshals in MMIP initiative
California’s largest Tribe and a longstanding leader in criminal justice issues is getting an assist in dealing with the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people. The U.S. Marshals Service has tapped Northern California’s Yurok Tribe as the pilot partner for its Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) Initiative. The Tribe’s priorities will drive specific areas of the collaboration, which could include training on missing child investigations and sex offender registration. “We are fully committed to supporting the Yurok Tribe’s efforts to keep their communities safe,” said U.S. Marshals Service Director Ronald L. Davis.
Lawmakers to FCC: Expand languages in alerts
Calling Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) “an important lifeline to Americans,” two New York lawmakers are leading a charge to remove language barriers in the bulletins—a measure that could impact Tribal communities. (Larger Tribes such as the Navajo Nation already are working to share emergency alerts in their native language.) U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Representative Grace Meng and 43 lawmakers who signed a bicameral letter urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to expand requirements beyond English and Spanish to ensure more of the nation can respond to such WEAs as AMBER Alerts and severe weather notices. Lawmakers pointed to 2021’s Hurricane Ida, when many Asian immigrants did not receive language-accessible warnings that could have alerted them to, and protected them against, deadly flash flooding.
Colorado adopts Missing Indigenous People Alert
Colorado has become the second state to implement a Missing Indigenous Person Alert system. The new public alert, designed in response to the disproportionately high number of Indigenous people who are missing or have been murdered, comes on the heels of a similar one launched in Washington State. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation operates the system, which is the result of Indigenous advocates to pass legislation to raise awareness about missing members of Tribal communities. “It just feels like we’re always put on the back burner,” said Southern Ute member Daisy Bluestar, member of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives Taskforce of Colorado, which advocated for the alert.