The federal Not Invisible Act Commission has issued its recommendations to help tribal communities, federal agencies, and law enforcement respond to the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous people.
Montana Public Radio’s Aaron Bolton has more.
According to federal crime data, American Indians and Alaska Natives go missing or are murdered at higher rates than their white counterparts. Many cases go unsolved.
Congress passed the Not Invisible Act in 2020.
The bill formed a federal commission made up of tribal leaders, federal agencies, families, and survivors.
The commission held several hearings across the country to get input from tribal communities.
The commission issued numerous recommendations.
It called for more federal funding for tribal police and changes to federal laws that limit tribal police investigations.
It also called for more training and collaboration between tribal, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.
Federal agencies have 90 days to respond to the commission’s recommendations.
A new report from Canada’s corrections watchdog says there are still too many Indigenous people in Canada’s prisons.
As Dan Karpenchuk reports, he calls the prison system disturbingly and unconscionably Indigenized.
Correctional investigator Ivan Zinger over the past decade the problem has become significantly worse.
In his latest report, Zinger says 32% of all federal inmates across the country, as well as 50% of the women, are Indigenous. That’s compared to 25% ten years ago.
And he says the system still bears many of the lingering hallmarks of colonialism, which Zinger adds, contributes to the marginalization, criminalization and over imprisonment of Indigenous people in Canada.
“For many years now, my office has been sounding the alarm. The discriminatory treatment of Indigenous persons in federal custody was among the first set of issues raised by my office when it was created 50 years ago. In the decades that followed, my office has issued more than 70 recommendations specific to Indigenous corrections sadly most of these calls have gone unanswered.”
And Zinger says the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in federal custody continues to widen.
“It is difficult to escape the conclusion that the correctional system perpetuates conditions of disadvantage and discrimination that contributes to such a disproportional incarceration rate”
In his report, Zinger urges the transfer of federal operated healing lodges to local authorities.
He is also calling for a national strategy of Indigenous de-carceration and better support for Indigenous elders who work with the correctional system.
The Coquille Tribe says it’s landed one of the biggest competitive grants ever in its history.
As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, the nearly $8 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation will benefit the tribe’s wharf and port development.
The money will fund three phases of improvements to the Ko’Kwel Wharf near the tribe’s Mill Casino Hotel in North Bend.
In short, dock repairs will be made to sections which have seen little or no work in 40 years.
A 600 to 700 foot extension will be added as well.
Ray Doering, the project manager for the wharf, says the final piece is making electrical service available to large ships that dock there.
“What a lot of ports are doing now, and we’re certainly out to be one of them, is providing electricity in heavy enough volume that they can turn off their diesel engines and connect to electricity here on the dock face. It’ll be a lot cheaper, and it’s a huge environmental improvement.”
Doering is with Tribal One, an organization that helps the Coquille Tribe with economic development.
He says there’s potential in overseas commerce that this wharf improvement will support.
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