Bill would extend and expand Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force

Rep. Tyson Running Wolf introduces bill to extend MMIP Task Force.

A bill to extend and expand Montana’s Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force came before the Legislature Wednesday.

Rep. Tyson Running Wolf, D-Browning, introduced the bill by request of the State-Tribal Relations Committee.

The Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force was created by the Legislature in 2019. It consists of representatives from all tribal nations in Montana, as well as representatives from law enforcement, the Department of Justice, FBI and other entities. The task force aims to reduce the number of missing Indigenous people, and by law, it must be renewed every two years. The task force is set to terminate June 30.

The disproportionate number of missing or murdered Indigenous people is a nationwide crisis, and experts say Montana is an epicenter. Native Americans comprise 6.7% of the state’s population, yet they account for, on average, 26% of Montana’s missing persons population.

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House Bill 163 would extend the term of the task force and the grant program it administers to tribal colleges. It also adds a representative from the Office of Public Instruction to the task force; authorizes

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