WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bill introduced last week in Congress is aimed at fighting violence against Native American women and addressing the missing and murdered indigenous women crisis.
U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-4th District, has signed on as a co-sponsor of the Bridging Agency Data Gaps and Ensuring Safety (BADGES) for Native Communities Act. Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., is leading the bipartisan effort.
The proposal addresses that stand in the way of improving the efficiency of law enforcement agency data sharing and officer recruitment and retention, both of which are imperative to address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women, said Newhouse.
The bill will also ensure tribes are able to continue important programs that currently work to increase public safety by making them permanent.
“This bill strengthens our tribal communities’ ability to enforce public safety by addressing the lack of resources and the shortage of qualified law enforcement personnel facing native communities in central Washington and across the country, Newhouse said. “I will continue to work to bring justice for indigenous women and their families and look forward to this legislation being signed into law.”
Earlier this year, Newhouse introduced Savanna’s Act with Reps. Norma Torres, D-Calif., and Deb Haaland, D-N.M., to help address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women.
Washington state is ranked second among states in number of cases related to missing and murdered indigenous women, with 71 identified cases. Newhouse’s district is home to two federally recognized tribes, the Yakama Nation and the Colville Confederated Tribes.