Savanna’s Act passes Congress, goes to President Trump for approval

Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 7:52 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., announced that the US House of Representatives passed Savanna’s Act.

Former North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., introduced the measure last congress. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, re-introduced this congress with North Dakota Republican Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer as co-sponsors.

The bill is named for Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind from North Dakota who was murdered in 2017. It requires reporting on missing and murdered Native Americans and directs the Departments of Justice and the Interior to consult with Tribes while developing national law enforcement guidelines.

“I’m hoping to see some movement within those law enforcement agencies. And the agencies above them, to start putting some teeth into this bill,” said Dr. Twyla Baker, Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College president.

Twyla Baker says this bill is personal for her, as she coached Olivia Lone Bear’s daughter in youth sports.

Investigators found Lone Bear’s body in 2018 after she had been missing for nearly a year. That case is still under investigation.

Savanna’s Act now goes to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature.

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