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Montana Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force provides update

Jermain Charlo Missing Poster
Posted at 4:36 PM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 12:26:02-05

KALISPELL — The Montana Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force held their monthly meeting, providing an update on the crisis facing indigenous people.

Brian Frost – the Missing Persons Specialist for the Montana Department of Justice -- provided an update on missing indigenous people, saying that out of the 167 missing people across the state, 53 are indigenous.

Frost also mentioned that out of the 21 agencies that have reported a missing indigenous person, the Crow Agency had reported the most cases with 10 cases.

The task force also discussed legislation for Montana House bills 35, 36, and 98 which all passed the House and have moved to the Montana Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.

U.S. Department of Justice Missing and Murdered Indigenous persons Program Coordinator for Montana Weyand says the response plan that the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes have established is the first of its’ kind.

“The first pilot project in the United States to develop a travel community response plan to really address effectively emergent missing persons cases,” Weyand explained.

Weyand says that CSKT combines information from outside agencies like law enforcement to ensure that the tribes can guide and govern the process of finding missing and murdered indigenous people.

The task force will meet next month to provide another update.