Senator Tina Smith wants to change a federal law that prohibits Native American tribes from prosecuting non-native people for certain sexual violence crimes committed on tribal lands. Prosecution falls to the federal government, where advocates say many cases are not pursued. Patina Park with Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center says even when the Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized a few years back, “there was concern that tribal governments would throw non-native people into jail forever, right? Ignorance of who we truly are.”
Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act is stalled in the Republican-controlled U-S Senate, reportedly because the N-R-A has concerns about the bill.