North Dakota lawmaker proposes ways to solve Native American crimes


BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A North Dakota lawmaker is introducing two bills intended to help solve crimes against Native Americans.

Rep. Ruth Buffalo of Fargo proposed two legislative measures that would require law enforcement training and data collection related to missing and murdered indigenous people.

Buffalo is the first female Native American Democrat elected to the state Legislature.

She says the training would be made available across jurisdictions, including for tribal law enforcement.

The bills mirror Savanna’s Act, which was introduced by North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in 2017. That proposal came in response to the August 2017 death of Spirit Lake Tribe member Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind who disappeared in Fargo.

Heitkamp’s bill passed unanimously in the Senate, but ultimately stalled in the House.