During the 2021 legislative session, Attorney General Austin Knudsen advocated for House Bill 98, which reauthorized the statewide missing Indigenous persons task force. Members include representatives from each of the state’s eight federally recognized tribes, a representative from the Attorney General’s Office, a representative from the Montana Department of Justice who has expertise in the subject of missing persons, and the Montana Highway Patrol. The U.S. Attorney General’s Office (Montana District), Indian Health Services, and the U.S. Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) Coordinator for Montana are also represented on the Task Force.
Establish a task force to break down jurisdictional barriers
1. Primary duties: Identify jurisdictional barriers between federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and community agencies
2. Work to identify strategies to improve interagency communication, cooperation, and collaboration to remove jurisdictional barriers and increase reporting and investigation of missing Indigenous persons.
Reduce Indigenous missing persons in Montana
Identify families’ needs
Create a reporting system
Track data on Montana missing indigenous persons
Create a network of communication among tribal communities