A position in the South Dakota attorney general’s office created by the legislature last year to coordinate investigations into the disappearance and murder of Indigenous people has received a private donation to finally fund it.
When the legislature created the position, it chose not to provide funding – instead calling on Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg to get the money from outside sources such as the state Indian tribes.
The hoped-for money failed to materialize and efforts this session to include it in the new state budget were struggling when Native Hope, an organization connected to St. Joseph’s Indian School. Native American gave $255,000 toward it this week.
Supporters hope the grant of $85,000 a year for 3 years will lead to Ravnsborg hiring someone soon. The office will coordinate law enforcement investigations across tribal, state and federal agencies.