Ivanka Trump went to Minnesota earlier this week with Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. They attended the grand opening of the Bloomington office, which is the first of the seven Missing and Murdered Native American Cold Case offices. The event also, reportedly, promoted the launch of six other task forces intended to solve cases in the prevention of violence against Indigenous women.
The First Daughter announced their attendance the night before on social media. She noted in her post that Donald Trump and his administration are "taking action."
Many have praised and congratulated her for the effort. However, the event seemingly became controversial even before it started.
Hours after Ivanka Trump made the post, Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein revealed that the First Daughter's event "surprised" her, according to Refinery 29. The publication noted that Kunesh-Podein is a Standing Rock Lakota descendant, who authored the bill that established Minnesota's Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Task Force.
She initially broke silence on the same platform, claiming that she did not know about the Bloomington Office nor the grand opening event. She also said that even the members of the task force and the community leaders, as well as the actual Indigenous women from the community, did not receive an invite.
Mary Kunesh-Podein, reportedly, deemed Ivanka Trump and the administration's efforts as "disingenuous." Their sudden interest "smacks of manipulated political showcasing," she added.
She also pointed out that violence against Indigenous women is not a new thing. For years, this has, reportedly, become a very controversial matter for the community. But, as for the Trumps, she said that this is only the first time they tried to address it.
Alongside the Minnesota representative, several Democratic lawmakers and Indigenous women also, reportedly, broke their silence following the First Daughter's "stunt." Reports said that they expressed "concerns and skepticism" about it.
Jamie Becker Finn, a Native American who is a member of the People of Color & Indigenous caucus, shared a tweet on the day of the grand opening. She, reportedly, called out Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump for the whole event and deemed it as a "media stunt" while using the pain of the people.
More than 50 individuals also gathered outside the Bloomington Office during the launch, according to Star Tribune. They, reportedly, wore the signature red color of the movement and carried signs asking them to "stop pretending to care about Native Lives."