Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) 1994

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NCAI Task Force on Violence Against Women

NCAI Task Force on Violence Against Women

Recognizing and acting upon the belief that safety for Native women rests at the heart of sovereignty, leadership from Native nations joined with grassroots coalitions and organizations to create an ongoing national movement educating Congress on the need for enhancing the safety of Native women.…

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Melissa Tatum: Striking a Balance on What to Include in Your Constitution (Presentation Highlight)

In this highlight from the presentation "Key Things a Constitution Should Address: 'How Do We Resolve Disputes?'," legal scholar Melissa Tatum discusses the importance of a Native nation striking a balance between what to include in its constitution and what not to include in its constitution so…

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Honoring Nations: Juana Majel-Dixon: The Violence Against Women Task Force

Juana Majel-Dixon, Chair of NCAI's Task Force on Violence Against Women, reflects on the work of the Task Force on Violence Against Women and their efforts to push for passage of the Violence Against Women Act in Congress.

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BIA Head Kevin Washburn Speaks to ICTMN About Bay Mills and the Need to Resolve Water Rights

BIA Head Kevin Washburn Speaks to ICTMN About Bay Mills and the Need to Resolve Water Rights

Interior Secretary — Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn was in New York City in September as the historic Peoples’ Climate March and the United Nations General Assembly opened its 69th regular session with the first World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, where he added to our excitement here at…

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Tulalips wield new power against domestic violence

Tulalips wield new power against domestic violence

The Tulalip Tribes are now one of just three Native American tribes in the country to take advantage of a federal program designed to better combat domestic violence on tribal lands. In an agreement signed with the U.S. Attorney’s Office Friday during a regular meeting of the Tribes’ board of…

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Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law

Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law

Tribal police chief Michael Valenzuela drove through darkened desert streets, turned into a Circle K convenience store and pointed to the spot beyond the reservation line where his officers used to take the non-Indian men who battered Indian women. “We would literally drive them to the end of the…

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UA Alums Involved in Effort to Legally Prosecute Non-Indians on Pascua Yaqui Tribe

UA Alums Involved in Effort to Legally Prosecute Non-Indians on Pascua Yaqui Tribe

University of Arizona alumnus Alfred Urbina, chief prosecutor for Southern Arizona's Pascua Yaqui tribe, has sat in front of families whose loved ones have been victims of violent crimes, only to say there is nothing that can be done. "I have had to face whole families and explain that we could not…

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Robert F. Kennedy’s Legacy with First Americans

Robert F. Kennedy's Legacy with First Americans

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy’s address to the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) in Bismarck, North Dakota. I was in high school then. My memories are that of tribal leaders who came together from throughout the nation to discuss key issues of…

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Pascua Yaqui gain added power to prosecute some non-Indians

Pascua Yaqui gain added power to prosecute some non-Indians

Southern Arizona’s Pascua Yaqui Tribe is one of the first Native nations in the country to earn legal standing to prosecute outsiders who attack women on tribal lands. The Pascua Yaquis – along with the Tulalip Tribes of Washington and the Umatilla Tribes of Oregon – have been been awarded special…

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Health, Innovation and the Promise of VAWA 2013 in Indian Country

Health, Innovation and the Promise of VAWA 2013 in Indian Country

Yesterday morning, we made our way north from Seattle, past gorgeous waterways, and lush greenery to visit with the Tulalip Tribes of western Washington, where we were greeted by Tribal Chairman Mel Sheldon, Vice Chairwoman Deb Parker, and Chief Judge Theresa Pouley. We saw first-hand, a tribal…

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Where Tribal Justice Works

Where Tribal Justice Works

In 2011, a man in northeastern Oregon beat his girlfriend with a gun, using it like a club to strike her in front of their children. Both were members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. The federal government, which has jurisdiction over major crimes in Indian Country,…

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Navigating VAWA's New Tribal Court Jurisdictional Provision

Navigating VAWA's New Tribal Court Jurisdictional Provision

President Obama signed into law the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a federal statute that addresses domestic violence and other crimes against women. As initially conceived in 1994, VAWA created new federal crimes and sanctions to fill in gaps, provided training for…

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Hopi Revises Criminal Code, Regains Sovereignty

Hopi Revises Criminal Code, Regains Sovereignty

Crime rates in Indian Country are more than twice the national average. But for decades antiquated criminal codes have limited what tribal courts could do. For example, crimes like child abuse and sexual assault didn’t exist on the books. And, tribal judges couldn’t sentence a defendant to more…

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2012 NCAI State of Indian Nations

Jefferson Keel, President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) delivers the 2012 State of Indian Nations Address. The nationally webcast and radio address delivered just days after the 2012 State of the Union Address by President Obama, charts a path for tribes to play a vital role…

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Considerations in Implementing VAWA’s Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction and TLOA’s Enhanced Sentencing Authority: A Look at the Experience of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe

Considerations in Implementing VAWA’s Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction and TLOA’s Enhanced Sentencing Authority: A Look at the Experience of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe

On February 20, 2014, pursuant to the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013), the Pascua Yaqui Tribe was one of only three Tribes across the United States to begin exercising Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction (SDVCJ) over non-Indian perpetrators of domestic…

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Sovereignty Under Arrest? Public Law 280 and Its Discontents

Sovereignty Under Arrest? Public Law 280 and Its Discontents

Law enforcement in Indian Country has been characterized as a “maze of injustice”—one in which offenders too easily escape and victims are too easily lost (Amnesty International, 2007). Tribal, state, and federal governments have recently sought to amend this through the passage of the Tribal…