Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Jurdistiction on the Reservation

What's sovereignty good for if not prosecuting the perpetrator of crimes committed on your own soil?

Quote from "Indian Country" blog post:

The statistics are appalling: More than one-third of Indian women will be either raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. Moreover, non-Natives (primarily white men) commit 4 out of 5 of those rapes or sexual assaults. To put this statistic into perspective, that means that if your mother, your sister and your niece are sitting on a couch across the room from you, statistically one of those three Indian women will be either raped or sexually assaulted, most likely by a non-native man (including non-tribal member male).

Equally dreadful, nearly three out of five Indian women have been assaulted by either their spouse or intimate partner, and many of these asssaults are committed by non-Indian partners. Truly dastardly acts of the lowest form right? It's worse: Surveys analyzing murder rates in counties largely composed of tribal lands found that Native women are murdered at a rate more than ten times the national average.


tribes do not have the capacity, legally, to protect their women from violent non-Native sexual predators on our own lands. Talk about worthless sovereignty. Many might argue that the ability to protect your people is the most fundamental aspect of a nation's sovereignty. If Native people cannot protect the lifegivers in our own territory, what good is so-called "sovereignty" or "self-determination?"

Steven Bhardwaj
(646) 430-1585

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