Navajo Nation First Lady Appointed To Task Force Looking Into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women

Oct 10, 2019

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has appointed eight members to a task force that will examine the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women. She announced appointments Wednesday.

Credit pbs.org

Task force members include Pueblo, Jicarilla Apache, Mescalero Apache and Navajo representatives, as well as nonprofit leaders and a Native American survivor of violence. The group is tasked with determining the scope of the issue in New Mexico. They also are expected to identify barriers related to investigations.

A lack of consistent data and complicated jurisdictional issues have stifled policy makers nationwide as they seek to respond to concerns about the crisis.

The task force has until November 2020 to report findings. A growing number of states have established similar committees.

Appointees include Navajo Nation First Lady Phefelia Nez.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation in August that establishes a 21-member study committee on missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.  The committee will include law enforcement, Arizona's Native American tribes, family members of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, and additional family advocates.

The measure was approved with unanimous support earlier this year in the Arizona House and Senate.