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!
On October 10, 2020, two bills were signed into law to help address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women in the United States. The bills, which were presented to the President on September 30, 2020, follow years of advocacy by indigenous women, tribes, and Native organizations calling for firm action to combat this human rights issue.
October 1st marks the first day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which offers a critical opportunity to continue to shed light on the issue of domestic violence.
Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Violence against Indigenous Women and Indigenous People Worldwide
UN Photo #841026 | Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), holds a virtual briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic in Geneva, Switzerland | 15 April, 2020
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO), a global health agency, declared COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic. WHO defines a pandemic as a global spread of a new disease.
Cancellations, Suspensions, and Rescheduled Meetings
On April 13, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear the oral arguments in ten cases by telephone conference on May 4,5,6,11,12, and 13. The Justices and counsel will participate on the call, and live audio feed is expected to be provided to the news media. The Court previously postponed the hearings in these cases due to the coronavirus. The specific argument dates will be assigned at a future date.
The opening brief in McGirt v. Oklahoma was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on February 4, 2020. At issue is whether the State of Oklahoma can prosecute an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation for crimes committed within the historical Creek reservation boundaries.
Supreme Court fails to issue a decision in Carpenter v. Murphy on final day of its term ̶ Court to rehear case
On June 27, 2019, the final day of its term, the U.S. Supreme Court unexpectedly failed to issue a decision in Carpenter v. Murphy. Many consider Murphy one of the Court’s most consequential and closely-watched Indian law cases in recent history. It also stands as the oldest case on the Court’s docket without a decision, surpassing the 200 days taken to resolve Dollar General Corporation v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.
The Court will rehear the case next term.
On June 28, 2019 the U.S. Department of Justice declared a law enforcement emergency in rural Alaska and announced new funding for the law enforcement needs of Alaska Native villages. This funding includes $6 million dollars for the State of Alaska to hire law enforcement officers in rural Alaska, and another $4.5 million dollars that will be available to Alaska Native villages for similar purposes. The Department of Justice also announced a series of additional measures, including a sexual assault training program and a new Rural Alaska Violent Crime Reduction Working Group led by U.S.
UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues calls for an Expert Group Meeting on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
[Helena, MT, July 2, 2019] - The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues has recommended that the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States, in cooperation with UN entities, “organize an international expert group meeting, by 2021, on ongoing issues of violence against indigenous women and girls in the region, including trafficking as well as the continuing crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women.” The Permanent Forum made this recommendation in response to the voices of countless indigenous advocates and allies who have done so much work to bring awareness to
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 ...)
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.
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.