- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 29, 2020

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - A presidential task force charged with coming up with ways to address cases of missing and slain Native Americans met for the first time Wednesday.

The task force made up of seven federal officials will meet over two years and work with tribes to tailor responses to what has become an epidemic in Indian Country. No single federal database tracks the number of Native Americans or Alaska Natives who are missing or have been killed.

The Justice Department has said the population suffers disproportionately from violence.

The task force announced Wednesday that it will hold the first in a series of listening sessions with tribes on Feb. 12 during a gathering of the National Congress of American Indians in Washington.

It also announced the selection of executive director Marcia Good, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Montana who prosecuted cases out of Indian Country.

The task force will report on its work in November and produce a final report at the end of its second year.

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