Lower Sioux Indian Community Member to Lead Minnesota’s Office of Missing and Murdered Native Parents – West Central Tribune

ST. PAUL — Juliet Rudie, a tribal member of the Lower Sioux Indian community and longtime Minnesota resident, will lead the new Minnesota Office of Missing and Murdered Native Parents as director. It is the first such office in the country, according to a press release from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

The office will be hosted by the Department of Public Safety’s Office of Justice Programs and will focus on missing and murdered Indigenous parents. The office will work with Minnesota’s 11 sovereign tribal nations; enforcement of federal, state and local laws; federal and state agencies; and community organizations and advocates. Additional staff for the office will be hired in the coming weeks.

Rudie’s career in public safety spans nearly 28 years. She started as a patrol officer with the St. Paul Police Department in 1990, then as a sergeant assigned to various divisions including Juvenile Investigations, Missing Persons and Director of Training. She joined the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office in 2011, serving as an Inspector, Administration Division Deputy Sheriff and Deputy Chief.

Rudie will begin her new role as Director of the Office of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Parents on February 28.

“For too long, Indigenous women and girls, men and boys, and Two-Spirit parents have been disproportionately affected by violence. It is through generations of advocacy from elders, mothers, sisters and friends that we are able to launch the first Office of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Parents,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan in the press release.

The office was a recommendation of the Task Force on Missing and Murdered Native Women, which found that while Native Americans make up 1% of Minnesota’s population, they make up about 9% of all girls and women murdered in the state in the course of the last decade. Between 27 and 54 Indigenous women and girls went missing in Minnesota in any given month from 2012 to 2020.

This new office “continues the work of addressing the root causes of the epidemic of violence faced by Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit parents,” Governor Tim Walz said.

Legislation to establish the office was signed into law by Walz in 2021. The office will also help develop and implement future legislation and transformative social justice policies.

For more information about the work of the Missing and Murdered Native Women Task Force, visit the Office of Justice Programs website at ojp.dps.mn.gov.

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