Catherine Cortez Masto

11/20/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/20/2019 19:53

Cortez Masto: It’s Time to Show That We Care About Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls

November 20, 2019

Washington, D.C. - As the Senate Indian Affairs Committee considered whether to advance Savanna's Act and the Not Invisible Act, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) stressed the urgency for the full Senate to pass these bipartisan bills to address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women. Both bills, which were introduced by Cortez Masto and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), passed through committee with overwhelming support.

'The two bills we are considering today are critical for improving the safety of Native American women and children in this country, as you've heard, Savanna's Act and the Not Invisible Act. Since I joined the committee almost three years ago, we have heard so many personal stories about the impact that the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women is having on our tribal communities.

'There are [27] tribal communities in the state of Nevada. I've had several roundtable discussions with our tribes on these issues. Native women experience astronomical rates of violence; I know that from the work that I've done as a senator, as well as the Attorney General of the state of Nevada, working with our tribes. We have heard all of the statistics before, and we need to remember that behind every statistic are families who are hurting. It's time for us to show that we care and we want things to change. We will do that through our actions today.'

Full video of the senator's remarks is available here.

BACKGROUND:

Earlier this year, Senator Cortez Masto joined with Senator Murkowski to reintroduce Savanna's Act in the Senate. This landmark legislation will help combat the epidemic of murdered and missing Native women and girls by improving the federal government's response to this crisis.

In April, Senator Cortez Masto and Senator Murkowski introduced another critical bill to work in conjunction with Savanna's Act. The Not Invisible Act willengage law enforcement, tribal leaders, federal partners, and service providers in the response and improve coordination across federal agencies.