On October 10, 2020, the Not Invisible Act of 2019 was signed into law as the first bill in history to be introduced and passed by four U.S. congressional members enrolled in their respective federally recognized tribes, led by Secretary Deb Haaland during her time in Congress. The Department is now working to implement the law and to further address the missing and murdered indigenous people’s (MMIP) crisis in the United States.
Secretary Haaland, in coordination with the Attorney General, are establishing the “Not Invisible Act Commission" an advisory committee composed of law enforcement, tribal leaders, federal partners, service providers, and most importantly —survivors—. The Commission’s purpose is to make recommendations to the Department of the Interior and Department of Justice to improve intergovernmental coordination and establish best practices for state-tribal-federal law enforcement to combat the epidemic of missing persons, murder, and trafficking of Native Americans and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs).
What are the Commission’s Responsibilities?
The Commission is a multi-agency effort to enhance protections and basic guidelines to engage, coordinate, and consult with tribal governments, survivors, families, and experts who best understand the needs of tribal communities to lead Federal efforts to ensure indigenous people don’t continue to go missing by developing strategies to address the crisis by developing:
- Administrative changes to identify, report, and respond effectively to cases of missing persons, murder, and human trafficking of Indians within Indian lands;
- Best practices for Tribal, federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to follow in combatting violent crime against Indians within Indian lands, including missing persons, murder, and human trafficking; and
- Guidance on how to address any gaps in services for Indian victims of violent crime.
The Commission will carry out its duties by holding hearings, gathering testimony, and receiving additional evidence and feedback from its members to develop recommendations that are due no later than 18 months after its first meeting.
How to Serve on the Commission
The Secretary of the Interior, in coordination with the Attorney General, will appoint a minimum of 28 members (9 Federal and 19 non-Federal) members to the Commission. The Commission will include individuals who represent diverse experiences, backgrounds, and geography that provide balanced points of view with regard to the duties of the Commission (both Federal and non-Federal). The Commission members serve without compensation but will be allowed travel expenses (including per diem) when appropriate. The Commission is exempt from the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).