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3 Minnesotans Present as Trump Signs Order on Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women

Three Minnesota Native American leaders were on hand as President Trump created a task force on missing and murdered Indigenous women. Three Minnesota Native American leaders were on hand as President Trump created a task force on missing and murdered Indigenous women. |  Photo: Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

Created: November 26, 2019 06:04 PM

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order creating a White House task force on missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska natives.

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Trump called the scourge of violence facing Native American women and girls "sobering and heartbreaking".

Fond du Lac Chairman Kevin DuPuis, Fond du Lac Councilmember Roger Smith, and Mille Lacs Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin were among six Native American leaders present for Tuesday's signing in the Oval Office.

The National Institute of Justice estimates that 1.5 million Native American women have experienced violence in their lifetime, including many who are victims of sexual violence. On some reservations, federal studies have shown women are killed at a rate more than 10 times the national average.

The task force will be overseen by US Attorney General William Barr and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and is tasked with developing protocols to apply to new and unsolved cases and creating multi-jurisdictional team to review cold cases.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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