By Joe Morey
In a press release issued today, Oct. 16, by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Attorney General Josh Kaul announced the membership of Wisconsin’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force, charged with helping to fight the abduction, homicide, violence and trafficking of Indigenous women in Wisconsin. LCO Secretary-General Michelle Beaudin was appointed to the task force to represent the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe.
The press release states, “In partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) and Wisconsin’s Indigenous communities, the task force plans to focus on examining the factors that contribute to missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW) and the response from social service organizations, understanding the roles federal, state and tribal jurisdictions play, and improving and implementing robust data collection and reporting methods.”
Beaudin said she was honored, “To represent our people and my hope is that this Task Force will be able to make good strides in combatting this for our Native people, not only for women, but for children and men as well.”
Beaudin said Native people are overlooked all the time and are just a side note on the news when one goes missing or murdered and there is a huge contrast versus other ethnic groups.
“This is an opportunity to make sure that we get the attention of law enforcement and the media to take our disappearances just as seriously as all the others. As part of this task force, I will be doing the best I can for our tribal members and all our native people,” Beaudin stated.
There will be additional opportunities for public participation through task force workgroups, the Attorney General’s office noted.
“Violence against Native women and girls is an under-reported problem throughout the U.S., and cases are often misclassified or there is confusion about jurisdiction. Accurate data protocols are needed to improve data collection and tracking information,” the press release concluded.