2020 Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren released policy proposals Friday to help the Native American community. File Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren unveiled her plan Friday to aid Native American communities in the United States.
Her plan aims to address public safety and criminal justice, and cites a 2010 National Institute of Justice study that shows more than half of Native American women have been sexually assaulted, and more than a third raped -- which is more than twice the rate of white women.
A separate report by the Urban Indian Health Institute identified 506 cases of missing and killed American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls across 71 selected cities -- 66 of which were tied to sexual violence. It also found 153 cases missing from law enforcement records. The majority of cases identified were from 2010 to 2018, and the oldest from 1943.
"I will establish a Department of Justice Task Force to investigate the epidemic of sexual assaults and murders committed against Native women and prosecute offenders," Warren wrote in her plan.
The release of her plan came a few days before the Massachusetts senator is scheduled to meet with Native American advocacy groups in Iowa. It also arrived amid controversy of Warren having identified herself as having Native American ancestry.
Warren has also worked on a legislative proposal to meet treaty obligations with Rep. Deb Haaland, one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress, her plan shows. She included a 2003 report from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that showed "chronic failure" of the government in honoring such obligations.
Warren said the lack of necessary support has been "appalling," but not surprising, given the history of mistreatment of Native Americans.
"The story of America's mistreatment of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians is a long and painful one, rooted in centuries of discrimination, neglect, greed and violence," Warren said. "Tribal nations robbed of more than a billion acres of land. Resources seized and sacred sites desecrated. Native languages and religions suppressed. Children literally stolen from communities in an effort to eradicate entire cultures."