Calling for Action on Two-Year-Anniversary of Savanna Greywind’s Disappearance, Murder
Savanna's Act was blocked in the House in December
FARGO, N.D. — The memory of 22-year-old Savanna Greywind still lives on, as well as the pain that comes along with her tragic story.
“My heart hurts a lot when I think of her and her family and that baby and the longing her spirit probably has for her daughter. And I never want to see that again for any woman, especially my indigenous sisters,” said Amanda Vivier, with the F-M Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Task Force.
To prevent similar tragedies in the future while also honoring Savanna, the two-year-anniversary of her disappearance and murder is turning into a nationwide and global call for justice.
Vivier says Savanna’s Act, which was sponsored by former Senator Heidi Heitkamp, needs to be passed.
The bill would improve access to crime databases and reporting missing and murdered Native Americans.
“I think it’s a shame that it hasn’t been. It should be now, it should be yesterday, it should have been 100 years ago but we’re here today and hopefully within the next year or two we have everything going,” Vivier said.
It passed unanimously in the Senate back in December but was blocked in the House by Virginia Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte.
“He had a variety of issues with how the law works on and off reservations but I think we’ve addressed those. So I’m hopeful that takes care of it. Ideally we’d have it passed before the end of the year. I can’t say for sure but certainly that’s our objective,” said Sen. John Hoeven.
Hoeven, who is Chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Indian Affairs, says he will get the bill through the committee and onto the Senate floor.
He has also gotten the SURVIVE Act and Reauthorization of the Tribal Law and Order Amendments Act of 2017 passed in the committee.
Both aim to improve public safety on reservations.
“We have to do more. We have to help law enforcement do more whether it’s the BIA, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and what we’re doing on the reservation as well as off reservation,” Hoeven said.
“Whether you like it or not, we’re coming. We’re changing. There’s an uprise,” Vivier said.
Sen. Cramer says he also doesn’t expect Savanna’s Act to get blocked a second time.
Both he and Congressman Kelly Armstrong are also sponsors of the bill.