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Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library


Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force

Active dates:2019-2021
Function:

By September 1, 2019, the commissioner, in consultation with the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, shall appoint members to the Task Force on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women to advise the commissioner and report to the legislature on recommendations to reduce and end violence against indigenous women and girls in Minnesota, including members of the two spirit community. The task force may also serve as a liaison between the commissioner and agencies and nongovernmental organizations that provide services to victims, victims' families, and victims' communities. Task force members may receive expense reimbursement as specified in Minnesota Statutes, section 15.059, subdivision 6.

The Task Force on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women must examine and report on the following:

  • the systemic causes behind violence that indigenous women and girls experience, including patterns and underlying factors that explain why disproportionately high levels of violence occur against indigenous women and girls, including underlying historical, social, economic, institutional, and cultural factors which may contribute to the violence;
  • appropriate methods for tracking and collecting data on violence against indigenous women and girls, including data on missing and murdered indigenous women and girls;
  • policies and institutions such as policing, child welfare, coroner practices, and other governmental practices that impact violence against indigenous women and girls and the investigation and prosecution of crimes of gender violence against indigenous people;
  • measures necessary to address and reduce violence against indigenous women and girls; and
  • measures to help victims, victims' families, and victims' communities prevent and heal from violence that occurs against indigenous women and girls.

The task force shall report to the chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative committees and divisions with jurisdiction over public safety, human services, and state government on the work of the task force, including but not limited to the issues to be examined in subdivision 1, and shall include in the report institutional policies and practices or proposed institutional policies and practices that are effective in reducing gender violence and increasing the safety of indigenous women and girls. The report shall include recommendations to reduce and end violence against indigenous women and girls and help victims and communities heal from gender violence and violence against indigenous women and girls. The report shall be submitted to the legislative committees by December 15, 2020.

History:

During the 2017-2018 legislative session, Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein and others began advocating for the creation of a task force to look into the deaths and disappearances of indigenous women. According to reporting by Minnesota Lawyer, Rep. Kunesh-Podein heard "a radio broadcast about a Canadian task force" addressing this issue, which prompted her to propose creating a similar group in Minnesota.

Bills establishing a task force on missing and murdered indigenous women were introduced in 2018 (HF3375/SF2768HF4273). These provisions were later incorporated in the 2018 omnibus supplemental budget bill (SF3656/HF4099), which was vetoed by Gov. Dayton

Bills were introduced again in the 2019-2020 session to establish this task force (HF70/SF515, HF111/SF711, HF1212/SF1736). Eventually, the provisions were incorporated into the public safety omnibus bill, passed in the 2019 special session.

There is currently no state or national system in place to collect data on missing and murdered indigenous women in Minnesota.

Membership:

To the extent practicable, the Task Force on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women shall consist of the following individuals, or their designees, who are knowledgeable in crime victims' rights or violence protection and, unless otherwise specified, members shall be appointed by the commissioner:

  • two members of the senate, one appointed by the majority leader and one appointed by the minority leader;
  • two members of the house of representatives, one appointed by the speaker of the house and one appointed by the minority leader;
  • two representatives from among the following: the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association; the Minnesota Sheriffs' Association; the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension; the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association; or a peace officer who works for and resides on a federally recognized American Indian reservation in Minnesota;
  • one or more representatives from among the following: the Minnesota County Attorneys Association; the United States Attorney's Office; or a judge or attorney working in juvenile court;
  • a county coroner or a representative from a statewide coroner's association or a representative of the Department of Health;
  • one representative from each of the 11 federally recognized tribal governments, with a preference for individuals who work with victims of violence or their families; and
  • four or more representatives from among the following: a tribal, statewide, or local organization that provides legal services to indigenous women and girls;  a tribal, statewide, or local organization that provides advocacy or counseling for indigenous women and girls who have been victims of violence; a tribal, statewide, or local organization that provides services to indigenous women and girls; the Minnesota Indian Women's Sexual Assault Coalition; Mending the Sacred Hoop; an Indian health organization or agency; or an indigenous woman who is a survivor of gender violence.

Members of the task force serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority or until the task force expires. Vacancies in commissioner appointed positions shall be filled by the commissioner consistent with the qualifications of the vacating member required by this subdivision.

Entries for this agency in the Annual Compilation and Statistical Report of Multi-Member Agencies Report: 2020, 2019.

Note: This report provides membership details as well as meeting information and a summary of the group's activities.

Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
Record last updated: 07/02/2021
 

Additional print information on this group may be available in the Library's collection of agency notebooks. Please contact a librarian for assistance. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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