U.S. Attorney Tucker Issues Savanna’s Act Guidelines for Alaska | USAO-AK

ANCHORAGE – Today the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska announced the completion of the Savanna’s Act Guidelines for Alaska following hundreds of hours of consultation with Alaska Tribes and tribal agencies, federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and victim service providers.

“Generations of Alaska Natives have experienced violence or mourned a murdered or missing loved one for far too long,” said U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker of the District of Alaska. “A top priority for my office and the Department of Justice is to address the disproportionately high rates of violence experienced by Alaska Natives and American Indians and, relatedly, the high rates of Indigenous persons reported missing. In Alaska we are fortunate to have strong working relationships across law enforcement, and these guidelines will help us to further strengthen our partnerships and push ourselves to constantly improve our response to bring answers and justice for the victims and families.”

Savanna’s Act, co-sponsored by Alaska’s Senior Senator Lisa Murkowski, aims to improve the government’s response to the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous persons through increased coordination and the development of best practices. Specifically, it directs the U.S. Department of Justice to develop guidelines to continually improve communication and coordination among tribal, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in response to MMIP situations. It also provides guidance on the collection, reporting and analysis of MMIP data; offers resource information for Tribal governments; and provides best practices for culturally appropriate victim services and for returning a loved one home. These guidelines are evergreen with ongoing opportunities for input and recommendations.  

“The U.S. Marshals will continue to partner with our federal, state, local and tribal partners to strengthen our response to missing and murdered Indigenous people. The shared commitment of each agency’s resources and expertise will increase our ability to make our communities safer,” said Rob Heun, U.S. Marshal for the District of Alaska.

If you know someone who is missing, it’s critical that you report it right away to 9-1-1 or your closest law enforcement. The first hours of someone missing can be vitally important. If you have questions about the U.S. Attorney’s Office MMIP program, please contact MMIP Program Coordinator, Ingrid Cumberlidge at [email protected] or [email protected] or call 907-271-3314. 

 

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Note for Editors:

 

In March President Biden signed into law the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization Act of 2022 as part of a $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package. The Office of VAWA will continue to work with Tribes to address challenges in protecting survivors and responding to offenders in their communities and encourage Tribal leaders and designees to attend the 17th Annual Government-to-Government Violence Against Women Tribal Consultation in Anchorage in September.

The Alaska MMIP Working Group is a multi-disciplinary team led by the United States Attorney’s Office MMIP Coordinator, Ingrid Cumberlidge, and comprised of tribal representatives, federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement, and social and victim service providers, including:

  • BIA Missing and Murdered Unit
  • BIA Health and Human Services
  • FBI
  • U.S. Marshals
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • Alaska Department of Law
  • Alaska State Troopers, MMIP Investigator, Missing Persons & Cold Case Clearinghouse and VPSOs
  • Anchorage Police Department
  • Fairbanks Police Department
  • Kotzebue Police Department
  • Nome Police Department
  • North Slope Police Department
  • Tanana Chief’s Conference VPSO supervisors
  • Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska VPSO supervisors
  • Tanana Chief’s Conference
  • Tribal representatives from Ahtna Region, Orutsararmiut Native Council, Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak, Arctic Slope Native Association, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Native Village of Kotzebue, Maniilaq Association, Native Village of White Mountain Village
  • Victim Service Providers
  • Advocates from Victims for Justice
  • Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center
  • MMIP Tribal Community Response Plan Pilot Sites:  Curyung Tribal Council of Dillingham, the Native Village of Unalakleet, and Koyukuk Native Village

https://www.justice.gov/usao-ak/pr/us-attorney-tucker-issues-savanna-s-act-guidelines-alaska