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Proposed state law would create 'Feather Alert' system for endangered and missing Native Americans

California Assembly Democrats
Highland assemblymember James Ramos speaking during a June 28, 2022 press conference, where he was advocating for this 'Feather Alert' bill.

A proposed California law would create a new statewide alert system that aims to help find missing Native Americans.

The bill, AB-1314, is being proposed by Highland assemblymember James Ramos and would create a system that would alert the public and media when a native American person has gone missing.

"The rates of murdered and missing people in Native American communities... it's a shameful state and national tragedy that does not receive the scrutiny and attention it deserves," said assemblymember James Ramos.

Ramos is calling the proposed program 'Feather Alert' and said creating a notification alert system was a top recommendation by several California tribal leaders during a May state assembly committee hearing.

The program would be through the California Highway Patrol and be similar to the statewide Amber Alert system. Ramos added that he hopes the bill will bring further attention to the issue and help end violence on tribal lands across California.

According to a report by the Sovereign Bodies Institute, only 9% of indigenous women murdered cases in California have ever been solved. The 'Feather Alert' bill is now being processed and will next be heard by the state senate appropriations committee.

Jonathan Linden is a reporter at 91.9 KVCR in San Bernardino, California. He joined KVCR in July 2021 and had previously interned for the station in the Spring of 2019. Outside of KVCR, Jonathan also interned for KALW in San Francisco, KFI in Burbank, and Radio HCJB in Quito, Ecuador.