Arizona: Governor Hobbs Announces Members and First Meeting for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Task Force

PHOENIX ~ Today, Governor Katie Hobbs announced the members of the Missing Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) Task Force, which she created by executive order on March 7, 2023. The task force will meet for the first time on May 8, 2023 and will prepare and submit to the Governor a report of their activities with recommendations for administrative or legislative action on or before Dec. 1 of each year from 2023-2026.

The Governor's Office on Tribal Relations has been revitalized and Valaura Imus-Nahsonhoya has been added to the team. Valaura has over 20 years of experience as a direct victim advocate and is recognized for her work as the Executive Director of Honwungsi Consulting Services. Valaura will serve as MMIP Coordinator for the Governor's Office and will support the work of the MMIP Task Force by working with key stakeholders to create comprehensive solutions for impacted communities.

"The establishment of this task force is just the first of many steps to stop the abuse, exploitation, and violence against Indigenous Peoples," said Governor Hobbs. "The recommendations made by this task force must be turned into meaningful reforms with pathways to justice for the missing and murdered."

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State Senator Theresa Hatathlie was appointed Chair of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People Task Force. "Thousands of unsolved cases of missing and murdered Indigenous people exist all across this continent," said Senator Hatathlie. "As Chair of the MMIP Task Force, I am committed to advocate for our relatives by working diligently with Governor Hobbs and other leaders to provide direction for cross departmental and interagency work involving MMIP."

Other members appointed to serve on this task force include Alane Breland, Chief Prosecutor for Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community; Alfred Urbina, Attorney General for Pascua Yaqui Tribe; Amber Crotty, Council Delegate – 25th Navajo Nation Council; April Ignacio, co-founding member of Indivisible Tohono; Jasmine Blackwater-Nygren, First Lady of Navajo Nation; Jerome Kasey III, Vice Chairman White Mountain Apache Tribe; Kim Russell, Director Arizona Advisory Council on Indian Health Care; Mikah Carlos, Council Representative Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community; Monica Antone Lieutenant Governor Gila River Indian Community; Myron Tsosie Arizona State Representative; Nick Debus Arizona Attorney General's Office; Paul Etnire Arizona Department Public Safety; Wi-Bwa Grey Council Representative Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

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The Missing Murdered Indigenous People Task Force will convene on Monday May 8 at 4 p.m at Executive Tower in Phoenix open only to press who must RSVP at .

Governor Hobbs expressed her pride in having such an incredible group coming together to find solutions to a crisis that has been escalating in recent years: "We must do all we can to protect our community." Valaura Imus-Nahsonhoya also expressed her enthusiasm: "I have been prepared for this appointment by survivors and families over years advocacy ensure we keep their experiences in mind as we work on recommendations solutions address MMIP in Arizona."

Filed Under: Government, State

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