Safe Women, Strong Nations

Sheila Harjo

 Silence Perpetuates Violence.  Join us during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in thanking the countless survivors -- like Sheila Harjo -- who have the strength to stand up and say "no more." 

President Obama signs VAWA Reauthorization into Law

Native women's advocates in the United States are praising lawmakers for passage of an inclusive, bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act that will afford protection to all women and victims of violence. The bipartisan bill, S. 47, passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, and now by the House, 286 to 138, includes critical provisions to restore and strengthen tribal authority to protect Native women from violence in Indian country.

To the Indigenous Woman...

Native women are murdered at 10 times the national rate; 1 out 3 Native women will be raped in her lifetime, and 3 out of 5 physically assaulted. Even worse, 88% of the perpetrators are non-Indian and cannot be prosecuted by tribal governments. Stand and take action now to restore safety and justice for Native women. Do Something!

Panel Urges UN to Act on Indigenous Women’s Rights

On April 24, 2019, Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center, Indian Law Resource Center, National Congress of American Indians, and the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center held a panel discussion at the United Nations in New York, Violence against Indigenous women in the United States: How Indigenous nations and women are leading the movement to end the epidemic of violence in Indian country and Alaska Native villages.

Panel of Indigenous Experts to Discuss Violence Against Indigenous Women in the United States at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

March 24, 2019 | New York, NY  ̶  Speakers from American Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages and indigenous organizations are converging for an important panel discussion on violence against indigenous women.  The side event, Violence Against Indigenous Women in the United States: How Indigenous nations and women are leading the movement to end the epidemic of violence in Indian country and Alaska Native villages, will take place at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 18th Session, on April 24, 2019, from 11:30 a.m. ­– 12:45 p.m. EST in Conference Room 6.

International Commission Investigates and Pledges to Monitor Violence Against Indigenous Women in the U.S.

In October, the Indian Law Resource Center, the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center, and the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center testified before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, bringing international attention to the high rates of violence against Native women in the United States and the unworkable, discriminatory criminal jurisdictional scheme that limits Tribes’ authority and ability to address this crisis in reservation communities. The Commission, astonished by what they heard, pledged to continue monitoring the situation and to assist in any way. (More ...)

Safe Women, Strong Nations Awarded Grant from Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

August 15, 2018

Helena, Montana   ̶ Indian Law Resource Center was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community for the Center's work to pursue legal strategies and educational initiatives aimed at improving safety in Alaska Native villages and access to justice for women and girls.

Commercial Interests vs. Traditional Ecological Knowledge

The Tlingit, Haida, Aleut, and Tsimpsian peoples of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska are fighting to protect Pacific herring in Sitka Sound. With commercial fishing interests operating in the Sound, the Sitka Tribe has been observing losses in both the spatial distribution and quality of Pacific herring spawn. They are now fighting to preserve their traditional way of life and seeking to have the State of Alaska take account of their traditional ecological knowledge in decision-making to protect the Pacific herring.

Congressional Resolution Aimed at Creating Awareness on Missing and Murdered American Indian and Alaska Native Women

February 16, 2017 | Washington, D.C. — The reported rates of abduction and murder of American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls are alarming.  However, Native women advocates say too often these terrible crimes are ignored by law enforcement and the media.

Voisine et al. v. United States – Federal Firearm Ban Applies in All Tribal, Federal, or State Domestic Violence Convictions

On June 27, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in Voisine et al. v. United States, 579 U.S. __ (2016), affirming that federal law (18 U.S.C. §922(g)(9)) prohibits gun ownership by individuals who have been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor, regardless of whether the crime was committed with knowing, intentional, or reckless intent.

Senate Holds Hearing on the First Year of Implementation of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015

June 29, 2016 │ By Simon Gertler, 2016 Summer Sidley Fellow

On Tuesday, June 28, 2016, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing to receive testimony from the Department of Justice and Government Accountability Office on implementation of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 one year after its enactment.

The Statute

U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Dollar General Case Affirms Tribal Jurisdiction and Access to Justice for Native Women and Children

The United States Supreme Court released its decision June 23, 2016, in favor of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians in a 4-4 tie. The decision in Dollar General Corporation v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians affirms the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which upheld the Mississippi Band of Choctaw tribal courts’ civil jurisdiction. The decision affirms that tribes have inherent civil jurisdiction over non-Indian defendants who sexually assault Native women and children on tribal lands.

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