Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation (H.B. 2570) Tuesday that establishes a 21-member Study Committee on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
The new committee will consist of members of law enforcement, Arizona’s Native American tribes, family members of the murdered and missing and additional victim advocates. The measure passed both the Arizona House and Senate with unanimous support earlier this year.
Ducey was surrounded by tribal members, lawmakers and law enforcement personnel during a bill signing ceremony at the state capitol in Phoenix Tuesday.
“The crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls is a heart-wrenching reality that tribal communities have been experiencing for far too long,” said Governor Ducey. “So many families have been subjected to the grief and pain of losing a loved one who was killed or sadly vanished. Today, Arizona says ‘no more.’ My compassion and thanks go out to these families and advocates involved in leading this fight for answers, action and justice. And my thanks to the many lawmakers around the state, especially Senator Victoria Steele and Representative Jennifer Jermaine, for leading to get this bill passed.”
According to a written press release from the governor’s office: More than 4 in 5 American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime.
The U.S. Department of Justice has reported that in some communities across the United States, the murder rate of indigenous women exceeds 10 times the national average.