ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Fargo forms task force on missing and murdered native women

FARGO--The Fargo Native American Commission has formed a task force to address the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women. Commissioners began discussing the idea in September following the murder of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind. The 22-ye...

3621892+082917.N.FF_.memorial.step_.jpg
A memorial to Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind is seen Aug. 28, 2017, in front of her home at 2825 9th St. N., Fargo. File photo
We are part of The Trust Project.

FARGO-The Fargo Native American Commission has formed a task force to address the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women.

Commissioners began discussing the idea in September following the murder of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind. The 22-year-old Fargo woman, a member of the Spirit Lake nation, disappeared in August while eight months pregnant. Her body was found eight days later in the Red River.

"What happened in Fargo-Moorhead rocked everybody to the core," said Ruth Buffalo, a member of the Native American Commission. "We want to find ways to continue supporting the entire Fargo community in making sure our communities are safe for all people."

Discussion to create the task force was stimulated in part by a desire from commission members to support the United Tribes of North Dakota, which wrote a letter in September to North Dakota's congressional delegation demanding that they take action on the issue. The United Tribes of North Dakota is an organization composed of the state's five tribes.

Commissioners met with Mayor Tim Mahoney in October to discuss the task force and, according to Buffalo, "he's very receptive and supportive."

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo said the task force is "still in its infancy." Commissioners have not yet determined how many members it will have or who will be asked to join.

She said commissioners are "compiling a list of potential stakeholders" and researching what is already being done about the issue. They are also formulating what the group's goals will be.

"We want to provide support locally to what is happening statewide and nationally," Buffalo said.

The Native American Commission was formed in 2006 to act as an advisory group to the Fargo City Commission.

What to read next
The Dickinson Police Department announced that Southwest Narcotics Task Force agents have discovered methamphetamine that is being laced with an opioid, possibly fentanyl. A recent string of narcotic overdoses in the Dickinson area has prompted the police to issue a public advisory on the outbreak.
The university said they remain committed to valuing high-performing high school, transfer and non-traditional students and providing a litany of financial opportunities and student resources to reduce burdens.
The local impact in the Bismarck-Mandan area last year resulted in more than 13,460 toys being distributed to more than 7,260 children. Southwest North Dakota residents interested in donating to the program can do so through 15 different donation methods online and in person.
The 12 plaintiffs suffered injuries including bruising from less-lethal munitions, lingering respiratory issues from tear gas and psychological trauma, the ACLU said.