SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – A new South Dakota law is aimed at getting an understanding of how many Native American women are missing or murdered in the state.

The law takes effect July 1. It received unanimous support in the South Dakota Legislature.

The law requires the Division of Criminal Investigation to collect data on missing and murdered indigenous people, and create procedures and training for investigating cases involving women and children.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Lynne DiSanto of Box Elder, says she hopes the new law sends a message that “every missing South Dakotan is important, worthy of our time and our resources.”

Republican Gov. Kristi Noem tells the Argus Leader the new law will allow South Dakota to share information with other state and tribal agencies to “bring these women home.”

AP-WF-06-28-19

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