New alerts help find missing indigenous women – Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky

Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2022-05-10 16:45:47 –

Henny Scott was only 14 years old when he went missing on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana in December 2018.

Henny’s mother, Paula Castro, said authorities did not issue an Amber Alert after reporting her daughter’s disappearance to the Indian Bureau of Indian Affairs, a nearby claw agency.

“They just told me to fill out the form, and they would have someone look it up,” Castro said.

It was too late when federal and tribal officials began looking for Henny.

“Her paperwork was just sitting on this person’s desk,” Castro said. “It was for Christmas vacation, and by the time he returned from vacation, it was still sitting on his desk.”

Castro and her husband Nate eventually formed a search team.

“When the law couldn’t even find her in two weeks, it took him only four to six hours to find Henny,” Castro said.

According to the Ministry of Justice, indigenous women and girls are 10 times more likely to go missing or killed than the national average, with lack of coordination and communication between state, tribal and federal authorities. , Is causing disappearances like Henny. Defenders say it has never been investigated.

Parliamentarians across the country want to do something about it.

Debralekanov, a member of the Washington State Assembly, is a citizen of the Tlingit State and represents the 40th district of the state. She helped create a new alert system that flashes across state highway digital signs and sends messages to the phone, acting like an amber or silver alert.

“If you go missing, contact the local tribal police,” Lekanov said. “We’ll contact local police, state police, and broadcasters. The model we’re sharing here doesn’t happen exactly, but we’re looking back at Alzheimer’s disease, the Silver Alert system.”

Rep. Lekanov said the system still needs to be resolved — most importantly the issue of jurisdiction.

“They reach out to the state at the local level and to the tribal community, and they all work together,” said Rep. Lekanov.

Patricia Whitefoot’s sister Daisy, a Yakama citizen, went missing along the Columbia River more than 30 years ago after going fishing with friends and family. She has never found a daisy.

“We should be able to handle the complexity associated with law enforcement professions, but the lack of communication means that, as you know, it doesn’t exist,” Whitefoot said. “That is, what is this communication about? And I’ve heard it many times from other family members.”

According to the Washington Patrol, 114 indigenous people are currently missing in the state. According to statistics provided by the National Missing and Unidentified System, the numbers are much higher nationwide.

“My Republican and my Democrat [colleagues], Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have realized that this is a necessary bill. Because we didn’t know that the woman who needed to be found didn’t care what the government found you, “Rekanov said.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill in April to create a new alarm system. It will take effect in the fall of 2022.

Henny Scott would have graduated from high school this year.

“I’m a little closed, but not all,” Castro said. “I still want to get well. I want to resume her case, but I don’t think anything will happen because of the method of investigation.”

Castro said he was still looking for an answer.

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