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California's New Feather Alert System Aims to Help Find Missing Indigenous People

California is introducing a new alert called a “Feather Alert.”

It’s similar to an Amber Alert and it means drivers will now see information about missing indigenous people on Caltrans signs on freeways and highways statewide.

For Kathy Chavez Napoli, a local Native American woman, the Feather Alert is long in coming.

As a member of the Maidu tribe of the Susanville Indian Rancheria, Napoli is relieved the state finally has a feather alert.

That way, Napoli said the entire state can find out about missing native women, just as fast as word spread about Lacy Peterson’s disappearance, and Gabby Petito.

“We can all agree that all women should have the same kind of publicity and people seeking them. But native American and women of color don’t get equal attention when they go missing,” she said.

The lawmaker who proposed the feather alert program said California is among the states with the highest rates of missing and murdered indigenous women.

Now, those cases will get a new spotlight -and hopefully a better chance of being solved. Santa Clara County Deputy DA Josue Fuentes is part of robust human trafficking task force in the county.

He applauds the new Feather Alert aimed at the Native community.

“To the specific sub segment of or population that often goes overlooked. This is a crime that definitely impacts all levels of our society,” he said.

California residents who get amber alerts on their phones, will now also receive feather alerts the same way.

Napoli said for Native Americans, it’s about time.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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