State’s MMIP Task Force holds first meeting
Gila River Indian News
The state’s newly established Missing and Murdered Indigenous People Task Force held their first meeting at the Arizona State Capitol. Lt. Gov. Monica Antone was present for the first meeting as one of the fourteen members, on May 8.
“It’s monumental to be able to bring everyone in and continue the work that the MMIP committee completed,” said State Sen. Theresa Hatathlie. Also, on this day, Sen. Hatathlie was named the chair of the MMIP Task Force. “We’re action oriented and we’re bringing light to this issue and making sure to elevate the task force messaging with access to the Attorney General and other resources without the many bureaucracies.”
The task force is a direct result of Arizona Gov. Hobbs’ executive order, signed in March, to establish a task force for Missing and Murdered Indigenous People.
The task force will provide direction for cross-departmental and interagency work involving MMIP and consult with government agencies, collect data, review policies, and propose recommendations that will develop pathways for justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous People. Additionally, the task force will prepare and submit a report to Gov. Hobbs with recommendations for administrative or legislative action on or before Dec. 1 of each year through 2026.
Task force members include April Ignacio, Co-founder of Indivisible Tohono; Alane Breland, Chief Prosecutor for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community; Capt. Paul Etnire, state trooper with the Arizona Department of Public Safety; Mikah Carlos, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Council Member; Wi-Bwa Grey, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Council Member; Jasmine Blackwater-Nygren, First Lady of the Navajo Nation; Jerome Kasey III, Vice Chairman of the White Mountain Apache Tribe; Kim Russell, Director of the Arizona Advisory Council on Indian Health Care; Alfred Urbina, the Attorney General for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe; Amber Crotty, Navajo Nation Council Delegate Myron Tsosie, Arizona State Representative; and Nick Debus, government affairs Director at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.