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Warm Springs Adopts First Missing Indigenous Persons Plan

CONFEDERATED TRIBES OF WARM SPRINGS -- The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Tribal Council unanimously adopted Oregon’s first Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) Tribal Community Response Plan (TCRP), through a partnership with the U-S Attorney’s Office.

"When someone goes missing from a Tribal community, it is an urgent and time-sensitive situation," U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon Natalie Wight said in a statement, "A community response plan ensures that all available resources—government, law enforcement, and community members—are quickly deployed in support of a full and thorough investigation." She added, “We thank the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs for their leadership in addressing this important issue."

A TCRP is supposed to serve as a guide for how Tribal law enforcement and community members will respond when someone goes missing from a Tribal community. TCRPs are tailored to the needs, resources, and culture of individual Tribal communities. The Warm Springs TCRP was created as part of the U.S. Department of Justice national MMIP initiative. The District of Oregon is one of six pilot program districts working to develop community response plans in accordance with this initiative.

The Warm Springs TCRP establishes four different sets of guidelines relevant to MMIP: law enforcement, victim services, public and media communications, and community outreach. The overall goal of the TCRP is to recognize the critical need for an immediate and consistent response to missing persons reports from the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, establish a formal process for responding to and investigating these reports, and outline the actions that will be taken by Tribal authorities.

In early 2022, the District of Oregon established an MMIP Working Group to increase multi-agency communication and collaboration in support of and response to Oregon-connected MMIP cases. The working group includes at least one representative from each of the nine federally recognized Tribes in Oregon, the FBI, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of Interior Regional Solicitor’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service, Oregon Department of Justice, Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office, and Oregon State Police.

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