April 8, 2013
Violence Against Women Act
Last month we were celebrating the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. This month we’re seeing a clearer picture of implementation of the act. This legislation is historic, as the act recognizes tribal court jurisdiction (for a good overview read here andhere). However, Alaska Native communities are specifically excluded from VAWA because the provisions provide for tribal court jurisdiction on reservations only and only 1 of the 229 federally recognized tribes in Alaska has a reservation (Metlakatla). This means that Alaska Natives are subject to State jurisdiction. There is quite an argument happening right now about what this means. It remains to be seen how this will work out.