The Feather Alert
The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Person (MMIP) epidemic has been a human rights issue in the continents now known as North and South America for over 500 years. Over the last decade, lawmakers have passed legislation to begin addressing the epidemic in the United States. In California specifically, Assembly Member James Ramos (Serrano/Cahuilla) has introduced multiple California Assembly Bills aimed at addressing the MMIP epidemic in our state. One important legislation that took effect on January 1, 2023, is known as AB1314, the Feather Alert.
The Feather Alert is a statewide alert system within California. Operating similarly to other alert systems like the Amber Alert or Silver Alert, the Feather Alert is an alert system that notifies the public of missing persons from Native American and Indigenous community. Feather Alerts are activated by law enforcement if any missing Native American person meets the following criteria:
- The Missing person is indigenous woman or indigenous person.
- The investigating law enforcement agency has utilized available local and tribal resources.
- The law enforcement agency determines that the person has gone missing under unexplained or suspicious circumstances.
- The law enforcement agency believes that the person is in danger.
- There is information available that, if released to the public, could assist in the safe recovery of the missing person. Example: license plate information or key identifying information.
Feather Alerts are a useful tool for law enforcement to aid in the swift recovery of missing indigenous persons in California. With the implementation of the Feather Alert, it is the hope of law enforcement and law makers that this alert system will reduce long-term missing indigenous persons within the state. If an indigenous person that you know is missing and you believe they meet the criteria of a Feather Alert, call 9-1-1.