Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, applauded the Senate’s passage of Savanna’s Act, bipartisan legislation to address the crisis of missing and murdered Native American and Alaska Native women. Senator Cortez Masto is a cosponsor of Savanna’s Act and had called for it to be passed before the end of the 115th Congress.
“By passing Savanna’s Act, the Senate sent an important message of solidarity to Native American families and took a first step towards empowering Tribal and local law enforcement to take decisive action against the epidemic of violence toward Native women plaguing Indian Country. I will continue fighting to ensure justice is served on behalf of hundreds of missing and murdered Native mothers, sisters, and daughters as well as their families.”
Savanna’s Act, which was introduced by Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D), would require the federal government to work with tribal leadership to create standardized protocols for responding to cases of missing and murdered Native Americans, require an annual report to Congress with data regarding missing and murdered Native women, and improve tribal access to certain federal crime information databases.
Senator Cortez Masto is a sponsor and cosponsor of numerous bills addressing the crisis of domestic violence and human trafficking on tribal land. She recently introduced the bipartisan End Trafficking of Native Americans Act of 2018, which would establish an advisory committee on human trafficking comprised of law enforcement, tribal leaders, and service providers to make recommendations to the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice on how to best coordinate efforts to combat human trafficking of Native Americans and Alaska Natives. She has also cosponsored the Native Youth and Tribal Officer Protection Act to support children and law enforcement personnel involved in domestic violence incidents on Tribal lands.