Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) has written a letter to President Joe Biden, urging him to prioritize federal funding to address the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people in Washington State.
During a press conference on the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People, Sen. Cantwell emphasized the need for increased resources to resolve cases, prevent further violence, and provide assistance to Indigenous communities.
Sen. Cantwell disclosed that she recently pushed for more resources from the Interior Secretary and is now requesting additional federal support in her letter to President Biden. Specifically, she is calling for more Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services Missing and Murdered Unit (MMU) agents to be allocated to Washington State, where only two agents are currently dedicated to solving these cases.
Washington State has reported at least 142 unsolved cases involving Indigenous victims. Seattle and Tacoma rank among the highest in missing and murdered Native women and girls among 71 urban areas, according to the Seattle Indian Health Board's Urban Indian Health Institute.