California Native American Tribal leaders, affected families and tribal community members gathered at the Capitol in Sacramento for the first Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) Day of Action. Tribal representatives from across the state called on legislators for a historic investment of $200 million to build programs and services that prevent girls, women and people from becoming missing or murdered.
The proposal will bolster tribally led response plans, law enforcement and public health programs throughout California, which have long been excluded from many state and federal programs. It also called for legislation to change broken laws and policies.
California Assemblymember James C. Ramos has introduced AB 44, a bill that seeks to grant tribal police state peace officer status. Sponsored by the Yurok Tribe, the bill will give qualified tribal police officers parity with state law enforcement as well as the ability to enforce all state laws and file cases in state courts. The bill will benefit all California residents by increasing the number of highly trained peace officers available to protect and serve communities.
In the US, California is one of the top 10 states with the most MMIP cases. The Native American population consists of 110 federally recognized tribes and is the largest of any state.
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is supporting the initiative by donating a $350,000 grant to hire an investigator to solve MMIP cases.