Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Delivers Remarks at the 2021 White House Tribal Nations Summit | OPA | Department of Justice

…When it comes to building on our nation-to-nation partnership, we understand the importance of open, honest conversations approached with respect, humility and sincerity. This means listening to you as leaders of your governments and representatives of your citizens. It also means responding respectfully to the thoughtful recommendations and information that you share with us.

That is why the department has already held six major Tribal consultations this year — more than in any previous year. Establishing and maintaining strong lines of communication is particularly important when it comes to fulfilling our responsibility to act as partners in making Tribal communities safer.

We acknowledge that our country has historically failed to meet the crisis of missing or murdered Indigenous people with the urgency and the resources it demands. We also recognize that solving this crisis requires that we work in partnership with one another. The President’s Executive Order will build on and expand our efforts to do exactly that.

Section 2 of the Executive Order requires the development of a comprehensive strategy for federal law enforcement’s efforts to prevent and respond to violence against Native Americans. We are eager to work with Secretary of the Interior Haaland to develop this plan. Earlier this year, Secretary Haaland and I announced that we will be creating the joint commission, the one required by the Not Invisible Act, to address the persistent violence endured by Native American families and communities.

Today, the Justice Department will announce the launch of a steering committee to address the crisis of missing or murdered Indigenous people. The committee will be co-chaired by the Office of the Deputy Attorney General and the Office of Tribal Justice. It will work with other agencies to develop the comprehensive plan that will be due to the President.

Under Section 3 of the Executive Order, the Justice Department will work with the Interior Department and other agencies to develop guidance and technical assistance on several issues, including the development of Tribal Community Response Plans.

The Justice Department has already started piloting these plans, which are driven by community needs, led by Tribes and supported by federal law enforcement. It is our hope that we will advance meaningful responses to cases of missing or murdered Indigenous people and serve as a blueprint moving forward…

Source: Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Delivers Remarks at the 2021 White House Tribal Nations Summit | OPA | Department of Justice