President Donald Trump established a task force Tuesday to help address the high levels of violence against Native American women and children.
The president signed an executive order in the Oval Office that promises to have the Federal Government coordinate with local tribes to combat the scourge of missing and murdered American Indian and Alaska Native women. Indigenous women are reportedly subjected to higher rates of violence than non-indigenous women, with studies finding that the murder rates of women on certain reservations are ten times higher than the national average.
Trump called the issue “sobering and heartbreaking” during the signing of the order.
“The victims and their families deserve action. And this should have happened many years ago,” he asserted. “We will leverage every resource we have to bring safety to our tribal communities, and we will not waver in this mission. We’re taking this very seriously.”
Honored to be in the Oval Office with my wife, Dottie Lizer, and US President @realDonaldTrump —
Today, President Trump signs an Executive Order “Operation Lady Justice” taskforce to help combat against Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women #MMIW
— Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer (@NNVPLizer2019) November 26, 2019
The task force, dubbed Operation Lady Justice, will be headed up by Attorney General Bill Barr and Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. (RELATED: American Indians Have An Unexpected Champion At The Supreme Court)
Several tribal leaders were in attendance at the executive order signing and praised the Trump administration for its efforts to combat violence against Native American women.
“I’m honored, President. Thank you for having us at this historic … executive order. The Navajo Nation thanks you, and much more First Nations thanks you. As the host people of the land, we feel that our prayers are being answered. And First Nations’ prayers are powerful. So thank you, Mr. President,” Dottie Lizer, the second lady of the Navajo Nation, said.