DOJ unveils new resources for Mont. Native Americans amid several missing persons, murder cases

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WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 05: The U.S. Department of Justice seal on the stage where U.S. and U.K. Law enforcement officials will announce warrants for the arrests of Maksim Viktorovich Yakubets and Igor Olegovich Turashev, two Russian hackers associated with a group called Evil Corp., at the U.S. Department of Justice on December 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. Today the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), and the U.S. Treasury Departments Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action against Evil Corp, the Russia-based cybercriminal organization responsible for the development and distribution of the Dridex malware. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

The U.S. Department of Justice seal on the stage. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 7:50 PM PT – Thursday, April 1, 2021

The Justice Department unveiled a new plan to address the ongoing problem of missing and murdered Native Americans in Montana. According to reports, officials are mobilizing local and federal resources to expand tribes’ investigative capabilities. However, the new plan does not apply to tribal citizens who go missing outside the reservation.

Reports found Native Americans only make up seven percent of Montana’s population, but 25 percent of missing person cases. Justice officials said they hope to boost their communication with local authorities.

“The tragedy of missing and murdered indigenous people is a harsh reality that native people face today,” Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Chairwoman Shelly Fyant said. “Unfortunately, no tribal nation has gone untouched by this crisis. Through the efforts of a few dedicated Salish and Kootenai tribal staff and leadership, we worked with outside agencies in a collaborative process to develop the first tribal community response plan.”

The Department of Justice officials said their focus will be on areas with overlapping jurisdictions.

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