Former Vice President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order later this week to address the “epidemic” of missing and murdered Native Americans across the country, according to CNN.
Biden, the “most knowledgeable person we have regarding Native American affairs,” according to New Mexico state Sen. Juan Torralba, of the San Juan River Tribe, will sign the Order to Protect Survivors. The order aims to combat “this epidemic” of missing and murdered Native Americans, an issue he said has “been a personal priority of mine for a long time.” In 2015, a report from the FBI estimated that nearly 750 people, or 2.4 percent of all Native Americans between 10 and 24, were missing, murdered or had been reported missing and never found.
Known as Blackbird Project, the effort by Torralba and Navajo and Hopi leaders in the Navajo Nation, as well as others, is intended to combat missing and murdered Native Americans for a long time. The program hopes to prevent the transmission of such crimes over long distances. One such protection has come from smart phones, said Will McDonald, who is the director of program management for the Whitefish school and tribal community. The tribal-led app, “Fair Shot,” encourages people to report missing-person cases by using their phone’s GPS data.
On Friday, Torralba said of Biden’s new order, “It’s almost as if it was done for all the people in the Navajo Nation, as it is for the people of Tohono O’odham, Navajo and Hopi.”
Read the full story at CNN.
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