New effort to combat violence against indigenous woman, girls

President Donald Trump signs a memorandum launching the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative. Photo courtesy of Tia Dufour/The White House
President Donald Trump signs a memorandum launching the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative. Photo courtesy of Tia Dufour/The White House

Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, has issued a statement on social media in support of a new federal effort to combat the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.

“The statistics are grim,” Young posted on Facebook on Nov. 26. “Indigenous women and girls across the country face disproportionately high levels of violence, and too many Native communities in Alaska and across the country have faced this situation first-hand.”

Young praised President Donald Trump for announcing an executive order announcing to create a federal task force to deal with the crisis.

“Our work won’t end until our most vulnerable populations can raise their families in safe communities,” said Young, who is the vice chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus.

Trump issued an executive order on Nov. 26 establishing the task force, whose membership would include an executive director from the Justice Department, the director of the FBI, assistant secretary for Indian Affairs, the director of the Office on Violence Against Women, the director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Justice Services , the chair of the Attorney General’s Native American Issues Subcommittee and others.

The assistant secretary of Indian Affairs is Tara Sweeney, the daughter of teachers Bryan and Eileen MacLean, who grew up in Wainwright, Bethel and Unalakleet. An Inupiat woman, she spent two decades working for Arctic Slope Regional Corp. subsidiaries, the last being executive vice president of external affairs.

The task force is mandated to prepare and submit a report to the president no later than a year to the day the order was issued. A final report is due within two years.