SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota Attorney General Mark Vargo is preparing to hire a law enforcement officer to coordinate investigations into the disappearance and murder of Indigenous people.

Vargo’s office said in a statement he met with Indigenous leaders after a gathering that included a song from Rapid City’s Wambli Ska Society and a smudging ceremony.

The Legislature created the liaison position in 2021 to coordinate efforts across federal, tribal and local law enforcement agencies in addressing high rates of unsolved murders and disappearances among Indigenous people.

Tribal members are disproportionately represented in the state’s missing persons database.

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