Missing, murdered Indigenous women focus of Dollens study request

BY STAFF REPORTS
07/04/2019 10:00 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Rep. Mickey Dollens
OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Mickey Dollens, D-OKC, has requested an interim study to address the knowledge gap regarding which brand of local government would respond when an Indigenous woman is missing or murdered.

Oklahoma is currently 10th in the nation for missing or murdered Indigenous women.

“This is an issue that was brought to my attention by a constituent,” Dollens said. “There seems to be a disconnect between tribal, municipal, county and state law enforcement agencies regarding how these cases should be handled. This study is intended to help close that disconnect and hopefully shed some light on how we can better serve the native community.”

The study would also create a system to collect data on these instances that would then be funneled through one point of contact in the state. This information would then be used to create a statewide database on missing and murdered indigenous women.

“On behalf of Gov. Reggie Wassana and the Cheyenne Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, we are pleased that our friend, Rep. Mickey Dollens, has begun an initiative to collaborate with Indian Country,” LaRenda Morgan, Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma Governmental Affairs executive officer, said. “In tribal communities in Oklahoma women are the backbone of society and considered honored treasures in the family unit. We are certain that this task force will make a positive impact on families of missing and murdered women and girls and will answer the calls to action regarding the multitude of unsolved cases in Oklahoma. We look forward to supporting Rep. Dollens in this vitally important endeavor.”

Representatives are allowed to request interim studies, but ultimately, the decision on whether the studies are approved resides with the speaker of the House. All studies will be approved or disapproved by July 19, according to the speaker’s office.

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