TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)— A bill calling for law enforcement training for missing and murdered indigenous people passed in a Kansas House Session Thursday.
The bill, House bill 2008, passed with a unanimous vote of 123-0.
In her first House speech, Kansas lawmaker, Representative Christina Haswood, D-Lawrence, called it “a great first step” toward addressing issues that affect indigenous people.
“I feel like it’s an issue not a lot of people are aware of, but it happens right under our noses,” Rep. Haswood told Kansas’ Capitol Bureau. “And this can also go for other races and ethnicities in this type of crisis and issue.”
Haswood explained that there’s a lack of substantial data collected for missing and murdered indigenous people, making it difficult to keep track of the issue. She said it forces families in this community to request help from others online through social pages or ads.
Haswood worked with Representative Ponka We-Victors, D-Wichita, to introduce the bill. Both representatives wore red to represent the missing and murdered indigenous people movement.
“My colleagues and I are wearing red today to represent the blood of our native sisters who were murdered and for those who are still missing because we haven’t forgotten them, and we’re trying to find solutions to this epidemic,” said Rep. We-Victors.
Now, the bill moves to Senate, where it will be assigned a committee. If it makes it out of committee, it will be debated and voted on.