Indian Country Today article. A brief has been distributed by the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy titled, "Addressing the Epidemic of Domestic Violence in Indian Country by Restoring Tribal Sovereignty."
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Safe Women, Strong Nations
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.
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!
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.
Senate Resolution designates May 5, 2018 as a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women
On July 5, 2013, Hanna Harris, a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, was reported missing by her family in Lame Deer, Montana. When her body was found five days later, she had been raped and murdered. “Too often in Indian country and Alaska Native villages indigenous women are disappearing and nothing is done,” says Jana Walker, director of the Indian Law Resource Center’s Safe Women, Strong Nations project.
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.
March 25, 2017 | Brittney Bennett, USA Today
Originally published on Rewire by Nicole Knight Shine - June 24, 2016 | The case, Dollar General v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, hinged on whether the tribe had the authority to resolve civil lawsuits involving non-members—in this case, a $20 billion company—on Native lands.
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.
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.
United States v. Bryant –Tribal Court Convictions Upheld as Basis for Federal Prosecutions of Repeat Domestic Assault Offenders
On June 13, 2016, the United States Supreme Court decided United States v. Bryant, 579 U.S. __ (2016), holding that uncounseled tribal court convictions that complied with the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 were valid as entered and could be used as predicate offenses in federal prosecutions under 18 U.S.C. § 117(a) without violating the Sixth Amendment.
Congressional Briefing on the Latest Data Regarding Violence against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men
On June 16th, the National Congress of American Indians, the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, and the Indian Law Resource Center are co-sponsoring a Congressional Briefing, to share information about the findings in The Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men: 2010 Findings from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.
The National Institute for Justice has published its latest research report examining the prevalence of intimate partner and sexual violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women and men. This report increases awareness about American Indian victimization to inform policies and practices surrounding implementation of VAWA 2013 special domestic violence jurisdiction over non-Indians. In addition, the report highlights a critical need for further measures to intensify and strengthen the response to violence against American Indian women, and particularly Alaska Native women. On June 16, the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, Indian Law Resource Center, and National Congress of American Indians will be holding a congressional briefing to inform lawmakers about these and other findings.