UPDATED 8:54 AM PT – Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Joe Biden signed an executive order to pursue justice for missing and murdered indigenous people. During a bill signing ceremony Monday, he directed federal agencies to work with tribal nations on strategies to “improve public safety and advance justice.”
“The title of this legislation ‘Improving Public Safety and Criminal Justice for Native Americans and Addressing the Crisis of Missing or Murdered Indigenous People,’” Biden stated. “I’m proud to sign it. It’s long overdue.
The move comes after 45th President Donald Trump signed a bill implementing new investigations into missing and deceased Native Americans back in 2019. Meanwhile, Biden went on to claim he will build on progress for the Native American community.
“…The American Rescue Plan, which included $31 billion, $31 billion for tribal nations,” said Biden. “The most significant investment in the history of Indian country…now we are taking the next step.”
During the signing ceremony, Biden also took a moment to discuss vaccination rates while noting Native Americans were struck with “devastating consequences” when COVID-19 hit. He then pointed out tribal nations “stepped up” and have gone from being a population most harmed by COVID to one of the populations most vaccinated against COVID.
Meanwhile, more announcements are expected this week as the White House hosts the tribal nations summit.