Montana Public Radio
"Three bills brought by members of Montana’s American Indian Caucus to address the state’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons crisis and update Montana law to include the federal recognition of the Little Shell Tribe are also now law.
"Gov. Gianforte signed House Bill 35 on Monday, a bill brought by Democratic Rep. Sharon Stewart Peregoy from Crow Agency to establish a missing persons review commission at the Montana Department of Justice.
"The commission is tasked with reviewing missing Indigenous person cold cases and analyzing potential areas of law enforcement improvement.
"Montana’s Attorney General, Austin Knudsen, will appoint members to the commission from tribal governments, the state government, nonprofits and law enforcement from various jurisdictions across the state."
Montana Public Radio
Tribes have learned the hard way that they can't rely on the Feds, bringing it closer to home is the way to go.
IS THIS AN ISSUE IN MONTANA?
Yes. Human trafficking is not just an issue that occurs "somewhere else." In fact, Montana is known as "The Truck Stop State" in sex trafficking circles. The many stops located along the I-90 corridor make it a convenient route for traffickers. Along with this, our state's size – one which could fit nine east coast states within its borders – coupled with the low population, makes Montana all too convenient of a place for this horrific crime to occur. In Billings, a 14-year-old girl can sell for $900 an hour. (Source: FBI)
Since 2007, there have been 650 contacts (phone calls, texts, online chats, emails, and webforms) received by the National Human Trafficking Hotline that reference Montana. Of the 650 total contacts, 87 are from 2019. Of the confirmed cases from 2007-2019, the 2019 cases alone account for 23%. These numbers only represent what has been reported.
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