woman doing research while holding equipmentPhoto by National Cancer Institute

July 08 2024 20:10:12 UTC– American Indian and Alaska Native people are at a disproportionate risk of experiencing violence, murder, or going missing. Now, Qiagen, a leading maker of genetic tests, said it partners with the University of Montana to use advanced DNA technologies for identifying human remains of Indigenous people and African Americans.

The partnership aims to provide forensic services for missing and murdered Indigenous people (MMIP) and unidentified human remains (UHRs) using DNA technologies such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) and forensic investigative genetic genealogy (FIGG).

The collaboration involves building DNA databases and employing next-generation sequencing for forensic applications.

This initiative supports solving cases of missing and murdered individuals, particularly among Indigenous communities and African Americans, while respecting cultural practices and providing closure to affected families.

Within the Biden-Harris administration, the U.S. Department of the Interior created a new Missing and Murdered Unit within the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services (BIA-OJS) to pursue justice for missing or murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives.

The unit is providing leadership and direction for cross-departmental and interagency work involving missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives.

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