President Trump forms task force on missing, murdered Native Americans

WASHINGTON — President Trump signed an executive order Nov. 26 aimed at addressing the unsolved cases of murdered and missing Native American women and children.

A 2008 study found women in some tribal communities are 10 times more likely to be murdered than the average American.

The National Crime Information Center said there were 5,712 reports of missing American Indians and Alaska Native women and girls in 2016 but only 116 of the cases were logged in the federal missing persons database.

The executive order, called Operation Lady Justice, establishes a task force to combat the issue.

Native American leaders joined the president in the Oval Office for the announcement.

“Too many are still missing and their whereabouts are unknown and they usually don’t find them,” President Trump said.

The task force will encourage federal and tribal officials to work together to fight violence in Native American communities.

“This is a very vexing and dangerous issue in Indian country,” said U.S. Attorney General William Barr.

Congress is also trying to fight the problem with Savanna’s Act. The bill was passed unanimously by the Senate last year but was blocked in the House.

A group of bipartisan senators re-introduced the bill this year. It will soon head to the full Senate for another vote.