South Dakota AG hires missing Indigenous, trafficking positions
Allison Morrisette, Mary Beth Holzwarth

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota’s attorney general has announced that he has filled a position to coordinate efforts from state, tribal and local law enforcement agencies, as well as nonprofit organizations, to tackle alarming rates of Indigenous people going missing or having their deaths remain unsolved. He also hired a woman to be the state’s first Human Trafficking Coordinator.

Allison Morrisette, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe who previously worked in the Pennington County State’s Attorney’s office, will be South Dakota’s new Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Coordinator. Mary Beth Holzwarth, who previously directed an organization dedicated to child sexual assault prevention called Endeavor 52, will be the Human Trafficking Coordinator.

The attorney general’s office has put a new focus on crimes against Native American people. The state’s Native American communities suffer from crisis-level rates of people going missing or being killed. Currently, 57% of people who are listed in the attorney general’s database of missing people are Native American.

 

December 1, 2022