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Bill Addressing Missing And Murdered Indigenous People Signed Into Law In Oklahoma

 Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signs Ida's Law into law on April 20, 2021.
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Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signs Ida's Law into law on April 20, 2021.

On Tuesday, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed a piece of legislation called Ida's Law. The bill is designed to help solve cases of missing and murdered Indigenous citizens in Oklahoma.

Senate Bill 172 is named after Ida Beard, a 29 year-old Cheyenne Arapaho citizen who went missing from El Reno in 2015. She has never been found.

The hope is that Ida's Law will direct more money to and federal coordination between the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Attorney's office and the U.S. Department of Justice when an Indigenous person goes missing.

Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. of the Cherokee Nation says it's important that agencies work together.

"It's really important for larger issues having to do with Indian Country and law enforcement. But particularly in these cases," Hoskin said.

Indigenous women face some of the highest rates of violence in the nation and face murder rates 10 times the national average.

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Allison Herrera is a radio and print journalist who's worked for PRX's The World, Colorado Public Radio as the climate and environment editor and as a freelance reporter for High Country News’ Indigenous Affairs desk.
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