facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1

South Dakota is implementing a new council to tackle the growing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons crisis. 

South Dakota Attorney General Mark Vargo announced the formation of the Attorney General's MMIP Advisory Council on Tuesday, Jan 4. The group will advise the Attorney General on establishing goals, protocols and parameters for the A.G.'s new MMIP Office.

"The issues surrounding Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women demand attention," Tatewin Means, the former Oglala Sioux Tribe's Attorney General who is co-chair of the MMIP Advisory Council, said in a statement. "I look forward to working with MMIP Coordinator Allison Morrisette, the Council and the Attorney General in making the MMIP Coordinator efforts successful."

Enjoying Native News Coverage?
NNO Logo Make A Monthly Donation Here

The council is made up of various stakeholders with the goal of equal representation among constituencies. Vargo will serve as the committee co-chair.

"The MMIP initiative within the Attorney General's Office is extremely important for the state," Vargo said in a statement. "When the Legislature established the MMIP position, it left it up to the Attorney General to fill in the details. That task will be done best with input from all appropriate corners."

The council will have its first meeting on Feb 14. On Jun 30, the Council will deliver to the Attorney General a list of goals and objectives for the MMIP Coordinator. The Council will meet at least annually thereafter to receive a report from the MMIP Coordinator.

Want more Native News? Get the free daily newsletter today.

While there is a lack of comprehensive data available on MMIP, according to a  2022 Congressional Research Service Report, there were 9,560 cases involving missing or murdered Indigenous people reported in 2020 alone. According to reporting from The Rapid City Journal, while Native Americans are 9 percent of South Dakota's population, they make up 60 percent of people currently listed on the state's missing persons' clearinghouse. The oldest case dates as far back as 1976, with the most recent case as recently as Jan 4, the day the state's MMIP Advisory Council was announced.

"The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Office, with the guidance of this Advisory Council, will do important work in this state," Attorney General-elect Marty Jackley said. "This is an opportunity to help those looking for answers to the fate of their family members and loved ones."

More Stories Like This

Biden Nominates Salish & Kootenai Tribal Attorney Danna Jackson for Federal Bench
A Conversation With Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan: What We Can Celebrate Around the State
Return to the Heart Foundation Gives 44 Micro-Grants to Native Women Leaders
Indigenous Journalists Association President Addresses Members of the UNPFII
Inter-Tribal Council Passes Resolution Urging FCC to Establish Specific Event Code for Missing and Endangered Persons

Native Perspective.  Native Voices.  Native News. 

We launched Native News Online because the mainstream media often overlooks news that is important is Native people. We believe that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers.  We hope you'll consider making a donation to support our efforts so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous-centered journalism. Thank you.

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online StaffEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Native News Online is one of the most-read publications covering Indian Country and the news that matters to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other Indigenous people. Reach out to us at [email protected].