The picture tells a nice story: Ivanka Trump—smiling with a big golden key in hand—stands alongside assistant secretary for the Bureau of Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney, Lower Sioux Indian Community Vice President Grace Goldtooth, and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. They are there to mark the opening of an office in Bloomington, Minnesota, dedicated to cold cases in Indian Country. Specifically, the office is designed to address the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, or MMIWG, crisis, and is one of seven such offices that the Trump administration has said it will open across the country, each the result of an executive order the president signed last November. On its face, it’s an urgent commitment in response to years of federal neglect.
But in typical Trump style, it was little more than a P.R. stunt, just another branding exercise for Ivanka and a weak attempt by the administration to gin up some short-lived goodwill in Indian Country.