GREAT FALLS – During the last congressional session, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would address the issue of missing and murdered Native Americans.
The bill sat in the U.S. House waiting for approval before heading to the president’s desk.
Savanna’s Act is no longer existent due to a new Congressional legislative session and any pending legislation that was outstanding now has to be reintroduced and voted on.
As of Friday, Savanna’s Act had not been reintroduced.
Savanna’s Act had support from both Montana U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester and House Representative Greg Gianforte. It was introduced by U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who is no longer in Congress.
The bill was named after Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind who was abducted and killed in North Dakota.
This bill required the Department of Justice (DOJ) to update the online data entry format for federal databases relevant to cases of missing and murdered Indians to include a new data field for users to input the victim’s tribal enrollment information or affiliation.