GREAT FALLS — It's been three months since Senate Bill 312 - also known as the Looping in Native Communities Act passed and Montana's Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force was appointed.
The task force met for the second time on Saturday to discuss ways to improve reporting missing indigenous persons and to appoint a presiding officer who will help coordinate task force events.
Montana Deputy Attorney General Melissa Schlichting was appointed to this role and says a newly updated website will allow the public to learn about missing persons in their area and how to report them.
The Montana Missing Persons Clearinghouse is a publicly available site on the Montana Department of Justice website. It is updated -- as we learned today -- in real time every minute of every day with new information about missing persons in Montana," she explained.
"We'll also be going out and doing educational programming to tribal communities and other communities on how to report missing persons, what resources are currently available," Schlichting adde. "And we'll just be out there providing more awareness to the general public about this particular issue."
Until those educational events begin, you can access task force resources online.
The task force members are:
- Councilman Mark Pollock (Blackfeet Tribe)
- Councilman Mike Corcoran (Chippewa Cree Tribe)
- Ellie Bundy (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes)
- Valerie Falls Down (Crow Tribe)
- Councilwoman Brandi King (Fort Belknap Indian Community)
- Councilman Jestin Dupree (Fort Peck Tribes)
- Councilwoman Iris KillEagle (Little Shell Chippewa Tribe)
- Brandi Beckman (Northern Cheyenne Tribe)
- Deputy Attorney General Melissa Schlichting (Attorney General’s Office)
- Montana Missing Persons Clearinghouse Manager Jennifer Viets (Montana DOJ)
- Sgt. Derek Werner (Montana Highway Patrol)