Indigenous organization partners with South Dakota to fund MMIP Liaison

Nativehopelogotagline Red1PIERRE, S.D. — The organization Native Hope, Inc. announced Wednesday that they will provide a grant to fund a missing and murdered Indigenous persons liaison office as part of the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office, in cooperation with the St. Joseph’s Indian School.

The grant will provide $85,000 a year between 2022 and 2024 for a MMIP liaison, who will coordinate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice, and tribal law enforcement. The goal is to build communication and resolve gaps in law enforcement training and cooperation.

That funding comes after Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg said his office had not received any funding to create the position, which was made mandatory after House Bill 1199 passed in the 2021 legislative session. Ravnsborg called the requirement basically an “unfunded mandate.”

“The decision to fund the grant was a logical next step in our commitment to the issue that has been a pillar of our work for seven years now,” says Jennifer Long, executive director of Native Hope, Inc. “In the work we do with tribal communities, we want to have a positive impact. No more missing sisters. No more missing Indigenous people.”

The South Dakota Attorney General’s Office will begin the search for the person who will serve as the first South Dakota Liaison for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons.

Categories: Local News, Politics & Elections, South Dakota News