Lawmakers highlight missing indigenous women - Albuquerque Journal

Lawmakers highlight missing indigenous women

Apl112618c
Deb Haaland stands outside her office in Albuquerque last year. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE – Some of New Mexico’s lawmakers recognized American Indian Day at the Capitol on Friday by highlighting Congresswoman Deb Haaland’s push to address the number of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.

The state Senate also honored Haaland for her role as one of the first Native American women to serve in Congress.

Haaland, a Democrat and member of Laguna Pueblo, said Friday that she hopes the FBI will establish a task force and lead efforts concentrating on the murder and disappearance of women and girls in Indian Country. She said she hopes federal officials will make an appropriation to support the effort.

A nonprofit group, the Urban Indian Health Institute, released a study last year that found many police departments nationwide are failing to adequately identify or report cases of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. The city of Albuquerque has one of the highest numbers of urban native women reported missing or murdered, according to legislation introduced in the state Senate.

Haaland said a shortage of law-enforcement officers and the challenge of patrolling wide expanses of country contribute to crime in tribal communities. But other improvements – including the expansion of broadband internet service and cell-phone coverage – are also needed, she said.

The lack of officers “is compounded by the fact that a victim may not even have cell service to call them in the first place,” Haaland told reporters. “We need to fix issues across the board.”

Sen. John Pinto, D-Tohatchi, introduced legislation, Senate Memorial 38, supporting calls for an investigation and describing the situation as a “national disgrace.”

Sen. Benny Shendo Jr., D-Jemez Pueblo, said Haaland’s understanding of tribal communities is “refreshing.” And he said she’s doing important work to highlight missing or murdered women.

“These are somebody’s grandmother, auntie, mom, sister. These are human beings,” he said. “Not having the resources and making that an excuse – it’s not justifiable.”

A proposal in the state House would declare an emergency, create a state Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force and make $100,000 available. House Bill 278 is co-sponsored by Democratic Reps. Andrea Romero of Santa Fe, Derrick Lente of Sandia Pueblo and Melanie Stansbury of Albuquerque.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Home » News » New Mexico News » Lawmakers highlight missing indigenous women


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Lawmakers discuss new oversight for NM prisons
ABQnews Seeker
Hefty legal settlements over past year ... Hefty legal settlements over past year draw attention, calls for action
2
'Our new Santa': Good Samaritan gifts bike after clothing ...
ABQnews Seeker
Crime occurred Tuesday night at Northeast ... Crime occurred Tuesday night at Northeast Albuquerque nonprofit
3
Fifth-year senior 'Uncle Mo' Udeze mentors his Lobo freshman ...
ABQnews Seeker
'He’s definitely the big dog in ... 'He’s definitely the big dog in the house,' says one roomie Donovan Dent
4
Inmates train pups that don't get adopted
ABQnews Seeker
The program is a win-win solution ... The program is a win-win solution for both humans and canines
5
Public weighs in on Mayor Tim Keller’s sweeping zoning ...
ABQnews Seeker
The legislation seeks to grow the ... The legislation seeks to grow the city’s housing stock with development ordinance amendments enabling greater density
6
Katy Duhigg in line to lead Rules Committee
ABQnews Seeker
She will fill a vacancy created ... She will fill a vacancy created with Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto gave up the post
7
$117 million grant expected to expand high-speed internet across ...
ABQnews Seeker
'We don't want to miss any ... 'We don't want to miss any opportunity,' Gov. Lujan Grisham said.
8
Hospitals continue to get battered by viruses
ABQnews Seeker
Officials say conditions warrant a return ... Officials say conditions warrant a return to the 'hub-and-spoke' model of triage
9
Former Catron County sheriff faces 10 felony charges
ABQnews Seeker
Ian Fletcher accused of stealing from ... Ian Fletcher accused of stealing from federal wildfire relief fund