Harriet Good Iron, a citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, is recognized by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on November 20, 2019. Good Iron's son, Nathan Good Iron, was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2006. He was 24 years old. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

RECAP: Senate Committee on Indian Affairs #MMIW meeting and Native veterans hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs had a busy Wednesday, with lawmakers advancing legislation to address missing, murdered and trafficked Native Americans and making history with the first appearance of a Secretary of Veterans Affairs before the panel.

Due to scheduling constraints, the committee immediately took testimony from Secretary Robert Wilkie, who joined the Trump administration in July 2018 and has spoken about Native veterans at previous events, including the White House Conference on Supporting Contemporary Native American Veterans a day prior. Following his presentation, he responded to questions for about 30 minutes before he had to leave.

"Thank you for the honor of being first," Wilkie told the panel as he departed.

The committee then held a business meeting during which two pieces of #MMIW legislation were considered. Both S.227, which is known as Savanna's Act in honor of Savanna Marie Greywind, a Spirit Lake Nation woman who went missing and was murdered in 2017, and S.982, the Not Invisible Act, whose title offers some promise to the countless numbers of missing, murdered and trafficked Native Americans, were approved by unanimous support among the lawmakers who were present or who voted by proxy.

Finally, lawmakers heard from a panel of federal officials and two tribal leaders, both of whom served in the U.S. military. "Unfortunately we are not honoring their service," Jestin Dupree, a council member from the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, said of the government's failure to provide adequate resources for his fellow Native warriors.

Catch up on the committee's activities with our social media recap. Videos from the business meeting and the oversight/legislative hearing can be found at the bottom of the post.

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Business Meeting
Indianz.Com Video: Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Approves #MMIW Legislation - S.227, Savanna's Act; S.982, the Not Invisible Act

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs - Full Video
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Video: Business Meeting and Oversight Hearing - November 20, 2019

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Notices
Business Meeting to consider S. 227 & S. 982 (November 20, 2019)
Oversight Hearing on “Recognizing the Sacrifice: Honoring A Nation’s Promise to Native Veterans” & Legislative Hearing to receive testimony on S. 1001 & S. 2365 (November 20, 2019)

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