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Journey to Wellness // Monday 8:00amA 10-minute bi-weekly program on Native American Community Health in MN and around the country in partnership with the University of Minnesota Medical School- Duluth Campus, Center of American Indian and Minority Health. The program will feature interviews with medical and health researchers, professors, and doctors plus native people active in Native American health today. Journey to Wellness on The North 103.3 is made possible by Ampers and the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Journey to Wellness in Indian Country: Savanna's Act "slipping through the cracks"?

Ashton Matheny with his daughter and a photograph of his late girlfriend, Savanna Lafontaine-Greywind. Savanna was kidnapped and murdered in August of 2017 by a neighbor who performed a crude C-section and took the baby girl to pass off as her own.

"There's been some sort of acknowledgement - wringing of the hands or shaking of the head in dismay - but full follow-through? That's never been the practice on any level."

“Savanna’s Act was signed into law over a year ago and requires the Department of Justice to update Congress on how the reforms and guidelines are being implemented to better protect native women and communities. I am deeply disappointed this statutory deadline has not been met, given the dire state of the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women in Central Washington and across the country."
Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland

Savanna's Act, named after Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, the pregnant Spirit Lake Tribal member who was horrifically murdered in 2017, was signed into law in October of 2020.

But so far, there have been none of the legally required updates from the Department of Justice.

Minnesota Senator Mary Kunesh talks about what needs to happen to keep making progress on the state and national level.

You can find the report of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force to the Minnesota Legislature here.

More information about the Office for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives is here.

And Minnesota is the first state with a task force on Missing and Murdered African American Women. Senator Kunesh is the chief author of the legislation that created the task force.

Lisa Johnson has been a broadcast journalist for 41 years ... and a radio announcer for a teensy bit longer.
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