South Dakota residents join panel on missing and killed Native Americans

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SIOUX FALLS, SD (AP) — Two South Dakota law enforcement officials have been named to a federal commission tasked with helping improve how the government handles a decades-long crisis of missing and murdered Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

Rapid City Police Chief Don Hedrick and Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg Peterman will join the group of nearly 40 law enforcement officials, tribal leaders, social workers and survivors of violence announced last week by the US Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

Native Americans have consistently made up about 70% of the state’s missing persons in recent years.


Federal, tribal, state, and local authorities have attempted to deal with disproportionately high rates of unsolved cases in which Native Americans and Alaska Natives have gone missing or been killed.

The 37-member commission, created under the Not Invisible Act, is expected to hold hearings and gather testimony before making recommendations to the Interior and Justice Departments to improve inter-agency coordination and establish best practices. practices for enforcing state, tribal and federal laws. The panel is also tasked with building resources for survivors and families of victims.

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