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Lower Sioux Indian Community member to lead Minnesota's Office of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives

Juliet Rudie, a Lower Sioux Indian Community tribal member and law enforcement officer with 28 years of public safety experience, will lead Minnesota's new Office of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives, the first of its kind in the nation.

Activists in Bemidji, Minnesota, walk during the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women's march in May 2019.
Activists in Bemidji, Minnesota, walk during the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women's march in May 2019.
Jordan Shearer / Bemidji Pioneer file photo
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ST. PAUL — Juliet Rudie, a tribal member of the Lower Sioux Indian Community and lifelong Minnesota resident, will lead Minnesota’s new Office of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives as its director. It’s the first office of its kind in the nation, according to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

The office will be housed in the Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs and will focus on missing and murdered Indigenous relatives. The office will work with the 11 sovereign tribal nations in Minnesota; federal, state, and local law enforcement; federal and state agencies; and community-based organizations and advocates. Additional staff for the office will be hired in the coming weeks.

Rudie’s career in public safety spans almost 28 years. She began as a patrol officer with the St. Paul Police Department in 1990, later serving as a sergeant assigned to various divisions including Juvenile Investigations, Missing Persons and the Director of Training. She joined the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office in 2011, serving as an inspector, undersheriff of the Administration Division and chief deputy.

Rudie will begin her new duties as director of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives Office on Feb. 28.

“For far too long, Native women and girls, men and boys, and two-spirit relatives have been disproportionately impacted by violence. It is through generations of advocacy from elders, mothers, sisters and friends that we are able to launch the first-of-its-kind Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives Office,” said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan in the news release.

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The office was a recommendation of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Task Force, which found that while Native Americans make up 1% of Minnesota’s population, they account for approximately 9% of all murdered girls and women in the state during the last decade. Anywhere from 27 to 54 Indigenous women and girls were 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 Native women, girls, and two-spirit relatives,” said Gov. Tim Walz.

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 on the work of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force, visit the Office of Justice Programs website at ojp.dps.mn.gov .

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