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Ducey Signs Arizona Bill To Investigate Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey held a ceremonial signing of legislation Tuesday that establishes a committee to investigate the missing and murdered indigenous women epidemic.

In May, the Arizona House of Representatives unanimously passed the bill, which created a task force to gather data about missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. Backers of the legislation said so many cases have gone unreported that it's important to understand the  scope of the problem.

The task force will be made up of tribal leaders, victims advocates, tribal police and social workers.

The Navajo Nation also has taken steps to address the issue as tribal leaders work to finalize the Diné Action Plan, a comprehensive plan that covers violence, substance abuse and suicide.

That plan relies heavily on traditional methods to create, implement, measure and improve programs that help people.

Known as “the informer” among her siblings, Laurel Morales came by reporting naturally.She’s been a public radio reporter since 1998, cutting tape with a razor blade at KQED’s California Report. She traded in her flip-flops for snow boots to work for Minnesota Public Radio, where she received her first digital recorder. But Morales has spent most of her career in northern Arizona where she’s had the honor to witness a Miss Navajo sheep butchering contest, a Havasupai medicine woman’s ceremony, and a group of blind teens hike the Grand Canyon.She joined KJZZ’s Fronteras Desk in 2011. In 2017, Morales produced a multi-platform project called Earth+Bone about what tribes believe to be sacred and what Westerners consider fair game. She’s won several awards for her work, including a national Edward R. Murrow Award for her continuing coverage of the Yarnell Hill Fire. She earned her master’s in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.