There’ll be a hearing at the State Capitol Tuesday afternoon on a bill that would set up a task force to address the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women in Minnesota.

Nicole Matthews with the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition called it a serious problem that has been underreported for too long and said, “We have to look at racism and how racism plays and whose stories get lifted up and highlighted in the media. We have to look at the system’s responses to it.”

Matthews said that, “Native women suffer the highest rates of violent victimization than any other race in the country. Most people don’t know that.” She added that the primary perpetrators against indigenous women are non-native.

She stated that she’s hopeful the task force legislation will pass with bi-partisan support this session.