On Nov. 26, 2019, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order that established Operation Lady Justice, an interagency task force charged with developing an aggressive, government-wide strategy to address the crisis of missing and murdered women and girls in American Indian and Alaska Native communities
The task force will be overseen by Attorney General William Barr and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. It is tasked with developing protocols to apply to new and unsolved cases and creating a multi-jurisdictional team to review cold cases.
In addition, the executive order also states the task force is to: conduct proper consultation with tribes, collect and share data among various law enforcement agencies, utilize existing criminal databases, develop and execute education and outreach campaigns for tribal communities most affected. The task force is set to run for two years unless otherwise directed by the president.
Olivia Gray, director of the Osage Nation Family Violence Prevention Department, is among a small group of Native American women who have been asked to meet with some representatives of the Lady Justice Task Force in Oklahoma. According to Gray, the members of the task force would like to hear from those women representing grassroots organizations that are currently providing services to the families of our missing and murdered relatives.
“At this point, it appears as though Lisa Billy is the liaison to the task force even though she is no longer with Governor Stitt’s administration. We have been asked to provide a very small amount of information for an enormous problem. It all seems to still be unfolding,” Gray said.
In addition to serving as the director of the Osage Nation Family Violence Prevention Department, Gray is a founding member and advisor to the Northeast Oklahoma Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives group, as well as another grassroots organization in the Tulsa area that provides services aimed at safety and harm reduction to the Native American population in that area.
For more information about the Osage Nation Family Violence Prevention Department, please visit: https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/what-we-do/counseling-center/domestic-violence