Biden signs decree on Native American safety

President Biden on Monday signed an executive order ordering several federal agencies to determine how to improve public safety for Native Americans and to investigate the fate of hundreds of missing and murdered natives.

The president signed the order after addressing the virtual summit of tribal nations from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington.

During a call with reporters, a senior administration official said Biden’s order would address crimes against Native Americans, particularly Native American women who “are disproportionately victims of sexual violence and sexist “. Fox News reported.

American Indians and Alaska Natives are more than twice as likely to be the victims of a violent crime and at least twice as likely to be raped or sexually assaulted compared to other races, according to the ‘Association on American Indian Affairs.

Biden’s order will direct the justice, home and homeland security departments to work together to help tackle human trafficking and crime on indigenous lands. The Department of Homeland Security will also be responsible for creating a strategy for “prevention and survivor support initiatives”.

President Biden signed the order following his speech at the Summit of Tribal Nations.
Evan Vucci / AP

The Associated Press reported that ideas being considered include increased participation in Amber Alert programs as well as national training programs for federal officers. The administration is also expected to liaise with Native American family members and lawyers.

In a reading, the White House called the lingering problem of missing and murdered indigenous peoples an “epidemic” and noted that the administration will provide “support to tribal nations to implement tribal-centered responses.”

The Home Office will also be tasked with considering a “20-year withdrawal from federal lands within a 12-mile radius of Chaco Culture National Historic Park” in New Mexico, which would bar all further federal oil development. and gas in the area, according to the official.

Home Secretary Deb Haaland.
Home Secretary Deb Haaland will be tasked with leading a “20-year withdrawal from federal lands within 12 miles of Chaco Culture National Historic Park.”
Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty Images

“Chaco Canyon is a sacred place that has deep meaning for the indigenous peoples whose ancestors lived, worked and prospered in this high desert community,” said Home Secretary Deb Haaland. “Now is the time to consider more sustainable protections for the living landscape that is the Chaco, so that we can pass on this rich cultural heritage to future generations. “

In his remarks at the summit, Biden is expected to note several other commitments the administration will make to support tribal communities, including a tribal treaty rights database that will allow federal employees and the public to search negotiated treaties. between the tribes and the federal government, which often need to be referenced when working on various issues.

The White House also plans to create tribal advisory committees with the departments of Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, and Veterans Affairs.

“The administration’s work is rooted in the President’s respect for the unique nation-to-nation relationship, his commitment to the country’s trust and treaty responsibilities, and the desire to strengthen tribal sovereignty and advance the tribal self-determination, ”the White House said.

First Lady Jill Biden will also attend the summit, which is the first since 2016 and the first to be held at the White House. Leaders from more than 570 tribes in the United States are expected to attend the two-day event, with nearly three dozen addressing the rally.

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