Task Force on MMIW – A Change in Trump’s Tune Through a New Executive Order

Task Force on MMIW – A Change in Trump’s Tune Through a New Executive Order

On November 26th, President Trump signed an executive order instituting a task force on missing and murdered American Indians and Alaskan Natives—an ongoing and complex issue—which will be funded by the Department of Justice.

This seems to be a significant turn-around from last year’s infamous debacle.

November is known as Native American Heritage month and is the anniversary of Trump’s cringe-worthy TV moment, where he made the outrageous speech in which he referred to his opponent Elizabeth Warren as Pocahontas. His ignorant and racially-charged comment was heard around the world and shocked many, especially those in Indian Country.

The president has never been recognized as a skillful orator, however last year’s particular speech went viral in seconds and caused concern as many believed he was not truly supportive of American Indian communities and may even hold prejudiced views toward them.

A year later, the tides seem to have changed…

Native American leaders look on, standing proudly behind Trump as he signs the executive order that will optimistically bring hope and peace to many.

What are the hard facts?

  • In one solitary year, upwards of 5,000 women and young girls were reported missing with only a significantly small fraction being logged by the Department of Justice.
  • Women from Native American communities are ten times more likely to be murdered than the average American.
  • One in three Native American women will be raped in their lifetime.

One major flaw in the numbers, especially in urban areas, is that there is missing and misconstrued data as well as a lack in reliability.

“Until there is cooperation and better tracking systems at all government levels, the data on missing and murdered Indigenous women will never be 100 percent accurate, which is what we need to strive for in order to protect our mothers, daughters, sisters, and aunties.” – Abigail Echo-Hawk (Pawnee), Director, Urban Indian Health Institute

The statistics are staggering and cannot be ignored. The fact that it has taken this long to fully bring this issue to light and get administrative support is troublesome.

Trump admits that the signing of this order should have been done a long time ago—”decades ago” even.

“The issue of missing and murdered Indigenous persons has not only affected families, but it impacts communities,” Second Lady Dottie Lizer of the Navajo Nation said after the event at the White House. “As leaders, we must continue to advocate for safety and justice for Native women and children. Most importantly, we need to address efforts to restore balance, love, and harmony within Native homes and communities.”

Now, for what we are all interested in knowing…

How will President Trump and his administration address this issue?

Taken directly from the White House’s Fact Sheet, or briefing, issued on November 26th, the following are the general plans of the executive order, while the specific details are located within the link provided.

  • PROTECT Native American women and children
  • ADDRESS the crisis
  • SUPPORT tribal communities

One major addition that comes with the executive order is the establishment of Operation Lady Justice, which is “an interagency task force charged with developing an aggressive, government-wide strategy to address the crisis of missing and murdered women and girls in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.”

Likewise, there are significant monies that have already been granted, $273.4 million to be exact, that will “improve public safety, serve victims of crime, combat violence against women and support youth programs in Native American communities.”

What are the current views and opinions of those that matter?

There are definitely mixed views about the new executive order and many people wonder if President Trump’s tune has actually changed to a more positive one since last November.

While there are those that are hopeful, many people had negative opinions about the order.

Various people express concern that Urban Indians are being overlooked, especially since there are compelling numbers of missing and murdered women and children from cities, not primarily from reservations.

Some believe that the president is merely trying to win American Indian votes for the upcoming election while others are doubtful of his genuineness and actual concern.

For readers out there who have strong opinions and would like to take action to help this cause, there are various routes you can go:

Only time will tell…

Regardless of public opinion, there is still an ongoing crisis that needs to be solved and the president and his administration are taking a first step in doing so.

For the sake of the millions of missing and murdered American Indian women and children throughout the decades, there are hopes and prayers that the new executive order will truly do what its intentions are: to protect, address, and support—and not just on the surface for all to see.

As a united country, let’s bring our missing women and children back and honor those who have been murdered or forgotten.

5 Comments on “Task Force on MMIW – A Change in Trump’s Tune Through a New Executive Order”

  • Avatar for Tristan T.

    Tristan T.


    I have no doubts that are is all political. He does not care one bit about Native Americans. Google his video on how he claimed that Native didn’t “look like Indians” for their casino bids. Totally racist.

    The way he allowed pipelines to go through sacred land.

    Trump also is a big fan of Andrew Jackson who ordered the removal of Native Americans in the south that leads to the Trail of Tears.

    Recently, he invited the Native Code Talkers while the portrait of Andrew Jackson hung behind as the spoke at the White House. Tasteless stunt.

    Trump doesn’t care about one bit of Native Americans. I doubt he would win much support from us or our reservations.

  • Avatar for Jonah



    Trump’s statement wasn’t directed at Native Americans. It was an insult to Warren because of her claims to native heritage with zero back up for it. Most call her ‘fauxcahnotas”.

    He mocked her because she deserves to be mocked. He signed this because it needs to be done to protect American citizens. Hopefully they can help the native communities solve these problems and save lives.

    • Avatar for Chris



      He referred to her with a “well known” name of an “Indian Princess” … because Warren was a phony and has Shamefully checked the Indian box to use for her own selfish way to Finance herself through College.
      As well as the many other things she has lied about.
      I liked her too till so many facts came out.
      I’m always surprised when people say n do things that can br checked into. Then you look like a Liar; ppl begin to question and see what happens then.

      • Avatar for Little Pine Tree

        Little Pine Tree


        I’d like to know the statistics on: “They usually don’t fight…”

  • Avatar for CC Reilly

    CC Reilly


    You seem shocked and surprised at this govie change of heart. However, I guess you missed the news many months ago when a Cherokee lawyer and ex-marine (if there be such a thing) was hired by the White House to assist with Indigenous matters.
    I hope we get some positive results. Rep. Deb Haaland is and has been a stout heart pushing for action in regard to the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The numbers on the Canadian side of Turtle Island are even higher than here. And then there is the issue of “Man Camps” which are now showing up in SW New Mexican new oil fields.

    Nonetheless, I can’t help but consider the timing of the announcement and how much of the Indigenous vote Cheeto Head hopes to capture in 2020 as a result.

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