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How can Colorado address high rate of missing and murdered indigenous people? Advocates call for focused office – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2022-05-08 08:00:43 –

Donna Chrisjohn has obtained two speed tickets in the last 6 years. Some have listed her as white. The other is Hispanic. Those that remind us of her ethnicity and the heightened threat of violence she faces as an indigenous people are too often ignored.

Indigenous peoples face violence at a higher rate than the general population and are often not properly tracked. According to researchers.. These misconceptions serve as a small reminder that if something happens to her, her case will be properly investigated. Do law enforcement know to talk to members of her tribe or understand her community as they pursue it?

Or is Chris john, a member of Sicangu Lakota Nation, written in chalk as a missing white or Hispanic woman? Is she another missing indigenous people who is not counted and whose justice is not properly pursued?

According to the National Congress of American Indians, more than half of indigenous women experience lifelong sexual violence, and 96% of victims experience sexual violence from non-indigenous peoples. Indigenous women have three times the homicide rate of white women. In 2016, the National Crime Information Center tracked over 5,700 missing indigenous women and girls. According to the Ministry of Justice statistics, only 116 cases have been reported. Urban Indian Health Institute..

For two years, Chris John and more than 12 other indigenous peoples, Colorado, have dealt with the disproportionate violence faced by the community and sought to take victims seriously.

After voting at the General Assembly, this work is ready to bear fruit. The bill establishes specific indigenous-led offices, addresses disparities, assists in investigating cases, creates best practices for investigating these crimes, and indigenous people’s missing cases. More intentionally track and respond.

“Our predators look at our population and know that there are jurisdiction issues,” said Chris John. “Our predators know that we are not correctly identified in the system, so they can come after us, especially non-native people are not prosecuted.”

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Signs were laid on the ground prior to the rally and march held on Thursday, May 5, 2022 at Acacia Park in Colorado Springs to commemorate the National Awareness Day of the missing and murdered relatives of the indigenous people. increase.

“I believe our community is empowered.”

Invoice, SB22-150Earlier this year, he passed the Senate in a bipartisan vote and received preliminary approval in the House of Representatives. It went through the room by Senator Jessie Danielson, Monica Durand, Leslie Herod, and all Democrats who say they are just legislative navigators. Chris John and other indigenous supporters and tribal leaders are the ones who design the bill and lead the effort.

“Can you imagine your child not being in the Missing Persons database?” Herod of Denver said. “It says you don’t matter.”

However, supporters said the details of the bill have not yet been finalized, as Governor Jared Polis threatened to veto the proposed office establishment. They are working on mutually consensus results, and legislative supporters emphasize that it depends on tribal leaders and supporters. What happens is needed immediately: the last day of Congress is Wednesday.

In a statement, Police spokesman Connor Kayhill said the office upheld the bill’s goals, addressed and addressed the threat of missing and killed indigenous peoples, and is working towards those goals. .. “If this isn’t legally possible, I’m sure it can be solved in other ways,” he added.

In a letter to sponsors in April, Lieutenant Diana and Stan Hillkey, Managing Director of the Department of Public Safety, wrote that “unquestionable” violence against Colorado’s indigenous peoples was very underreported. .. However, establishing an office in the Department of Public Safety will entail the Department of Public Safety’s “expectations beyond the current mission and skill set.”

Instead, he suggested using existing resources and departments to establish a limited-time task force to consider a wider range of issues.

However, the indigenous leaders who drafted the bill want a dedicated office and the guarantee of community members who defend the community.

The Ojibwe Mohawk Raven Payments “trusts us in empowering and empowering our communities and joining these institutions to help us act properly. “. “I need this seat in the office.”

Shannon Suburyan from Denver ...

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Shannon Sabrian of Denver will attend a rally and march on Thursday, May 5, 2022, to commemorate the National Awareness Day of the missing and murdered indigenous relatives at Acacia Park in Colorado Springs.

“A big step to repair harm”

As proposed, supporters have stated that this effort will provide technical and practical support that they hope will lead to real-world relief for sad families. They also say that it will voice the indigenous people and strip their sovereign agents too long.

“Because of the indigenous people’s advocacy, we believe in you, respect your questions, recognize the voice of the indigenous people and the autonomy of the indigenous people, respect you and your family, and you resolve these cases. Your community to be able to do it, “said Chris John.

Statistics from National Congress of American Indians It shows that four out of five indigenous women face violence in their lifetime. Of the more than a dozen supporters who directed the design of the bill, it’s 100%, Chris John and Payment said.

Chris John did not allow her children to leave her side in the store because the threat was approaching them. Don’t go to the bathroom, not a simple drink.

“If you want to be honest about historical values, this has been going on since 1492,” said Chris John. “That is, with indigenous women being hypersexualized, romanticized, and having a 500-year impact on our culture and what has been romanticized, we are not only women, but as indigenous peoples. Has come to be taken seriously. Our identity is not taken seriously. “

The office proposed by Chris John and Payments and their groups to guide both meeting rooms at the General Assembly will be officially referred to as the Liaison Office for the missing and murdered indigenous relatives.

Its head is required by law to be a person who is closely associated with the tribal or indigenous community and is familiar with criminal investigations. The office itself effectively acts as a coordinating office for investigating these crimes against indigenous peoples and establishes best practices for doing so.

In addition to being a powerful seat to ensure that the case is taken seriously, it will be tasked to spread cultural capabilities throughout law enforcement to spread the message to members of the community. ..

“When a person goes missing or is killed, when law enforcement misidentifies us, it means they are not going to actually take steps to talk to people in their lives. Let me know, “Payment said.

The bill serves as “a major step in helping to repair the harm that has been going on since the contact,” Payment said.

After the bill passed the House of Representatives in a voice vote on Tuesday, payments, Chris John, and bill sponsors met with Police for over an hour to resolve concerns his administration had about the structure of the liaison office. ..

Danielson was involved in the bill after enacting a bill last year banning indigenous peoples and icons used as mascots. She said the office would represent a state that was proposed by tribal leaders and put money in its mouth, along with dedicated staff guided by indigenous voices.

“Colorado has turned its back on indigenous peoples for a very long time, and finally there is a solid solution to help end this particular crisis,” Danielson said. “They came to us and told us to listen to us. This is what we are proposing. And Colorado enthusiastically accepted it and passed the bill. And I think we need to work with the community to deal with the crisis. “

She said the bill was drafted in a way that indigenous leaders knew to help their communities in the most important and immediate way. They don’t have to tell them what others are best for their community.

For Chris John and Payments, the solution to the crisis was not immediately feasible. They and others manually combined the Cold Case Files and other records to identify missing or murdered indigenous relatives.

When the bill was introduced in March, they identified about 50 missing and killed indigenous peoples in Colorado in recent decades. By the time the House of Representatives voted for it, it had grown to 54.

How can Colorado address high rate of missing and murdered indigenous people? Advocates call for focused office Source link How can Colorado address high rate of missing and murdered indigenous people? Advocates call for focused office

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