Murkowski co-hosts a roundtable on public safety and justice in Indigenous communities

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Washington DC-This week, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA), co-hosted a panel discussion titled “Public Safety in Indigenous Communities,” to hear from ministries of Interior and Justice and representatives of tribes and Indigenous organizations on how they are working together to strengthen public safety and justice in vulnerable Indigenous communities and the assistance needed to fully implement recent bipartisan legislation sponsored by Murkowski, including VAWA 2022, the No Invisible Law, and the Savanah Law, all aimed at providing the tools and resources for Indigenous communities to keep people safe and bring justice to victims and their families.

Vice President Murkowski delivered remarks to kick off the roundtable before welcoming and thanking Alex Cleghorn, Senior Director of Alaska Legal and Policy Affairs, Alaska Native Justice Center for his work in combating this public safety crisis.

Pictured: Senator Murkowski at the SCIA roundtable on May 18, 2022

“Native tribal leaders, advocates, victims and survivors and their families have called for addressing the crisis of public safety and justice in Alaska Native communities and throughout Indian Country for decades. Native Americans and Alaska Natives represent a disproportionate proportion of the missing and murdered. It’s a problem I’ve worked hard to solve and I’m incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made so far, together.” said Vice President Murkowski. “It is time we stepped in to address this public safety crisis in a meaningful way. This will require greater resources, tribal empowerment, and increased government collaboration. With our recent bipartisan victories – the passage of VAWA 2022 and the MMIW bills – Not Invisible Act and Savana’s Act, and increased federal appropriations, I believe we are on track for all three. I want to welcome all of our panelists today for their participation, but especially Alex Cleghorn, Senior Director of Legal and Policy Affairs for the Alaska Native Justice Center. The ANJC has done great work in partnership with the tribes of Alaska to build self-determination and sovereignty in service to tribal citizens.

Click here to watch Vice President Murkowski’s opening remarks and questions to the panelists.

The SCIA roundtable panel included:

  • Tracy Canard Goodluck, Senior Advisor, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, US Department of the Interior, Washington, DC
  • Jason O’Neal, Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs – Bureau of Justice Services, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC
  • Robert E. Chapman, Acting Director, Community Oriented Policing Services, US Department of Justice, Washington, DC
  • The Honorable Eugena Charles-Newton, Chair, Law and Order Committee, Council of the Navajo Nation, Shiprock, NM
  • Mark Kawika Patterson, Chairman, Hawaii State Corrections Oversight Commission and Administrator, Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility, Honolulu, HI
  • Michael Ford, Chief of Police, Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, Reno, NV
  • Lucy Rain Simpson, Executive Director, National Aboriginal Women’s Resource Center, Lame Deer, MT
  • Nikki Borchardt Campbell, Executive Director, National American Indian Court Judges Association, Boulder, CO
  • Alex Cleghorn, Senior Legal and Policy Director, Alaska Native Justice Center, Anchorage, AK

For more information on the SCIA Roundtable, Click here.

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