A combination of circumstances has made Native American women some of the most unprotected against sexual assault.
MN has jurisdiction over crimes by non-Indians on reservations. Don't I recall Red Lake invited MN OFF their land rather than coordinate in criminal cases just like this? Ask the reservation leaders to change before changing the law.
VAWA, a law that openly discriminates against male victims, is generally ineffective, and promotes ideological and non scientific ways of dealing with the problem. What's not to dislike about it? However, it has a catchy name that makes anyone who criticizes it or wants to reform it an easy target. So go ahead ideologues, get your arrows out.
Then open the law to non native Americans to be able to have justice on reservations! What good for the goose id good for the gander.
Thank you Ms. Erdrich for bringing this issue to light. Until I read The Round House I was unaware of this particular legal issue. It is disheartening that the bulk of US citizens are unaware of the status of reservations as sovereign nations or the fact that their status has been from the start largely controlled by non-Indians. My memory is a bit rusty but I believe Voltaire said something like this to the Polish people when Poland was divided amont other nations before WWI "You may not be able to keep your enemies from swallowing you but you can still prevent them from digesting you."
Excellent article, Ms. Erdrich. Thank you. Let's hope that this is the year we finally make some progress in getting justice for native American women.
it would be nice to have some justice. In our system there is no protection against false allegations. There is 0.000164% prosecution of such in the state of Minnesota. It is felt to be even worse in family court. It is hard to believe there could be less justice in the indian reservations but this may well be true.
I personally believe the most common form of abuse is that of false allegations and the police begin the process. This is a much better deal for the accuser than going to the Mafia to get some kind of revenge for whatever reason. The police are free and there are no repercussions.
Opposition is now moot. The bill has passed and will be signed by Obama. Constitutional scholars question its legality, so we'll have wait until the first person is charged under the new provisions for the constitutional fight to begin. Don't look for the ACLU to be taking this up, as they have moved on to identity politics rather than civil rights.
The article is written to make it sound like non Indians can commit any crime on a reservation without fear of punishment, does the state or federal government not have jurisdiction over these cases? That is where one needs to look.
I find it interesting that Ms. Erdrich can speak out about violence against Native American women, but she cannot speak out about the sexual abuse accusations that more than one of their children had launched about her own husband, Michael Dorris. Granted, her husband can no longer speak of this issue, but I am repulsed that Ms. Erdrich has remained silent on this issue. Sometimes, it is not good to be quiet.
Not to condone these rapes in any way, but I'm compelled to point-out that this legal issue is what naturally comes from this ill-conceived "sovereign nation" nonsense. The tribes keep trying to have their cake and eat it too.
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