Friday, September 24, 2021

Play

New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.

Play

The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.

Play

A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Will Savanna's Act Protect Native American Women?

Play

Tuesday, December 26, 2017   

BISMARCK, N.D. -- The murder of a Native American woman in North Dakota has inspired lawmakers in Congress to introduce a bill aimed at protecting Native women.

The bill from North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is known as Savanna's Act for Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, the pregnant 22-year-old Fargo resident who went missing in August and was later found dead.

Caroline LaPorte, senior policy advisor on native affairs at the National Indigenous Women's Resource Center, said the police response to cases of missing Native American women has been riddled with prejudice. And said often, no report is taken at all. Savanna's Act focuses on this issue.

"It's really supposed to require them to come up with a protocol to address the issue,” LaPorte said. "And that's great and we support the bill, and we supported the bill when it came out. But really, they should be doing that already."

LaPorte said the bill's greatest accomplishment may be raising public awareness of this issue. According to the Department of Justice, Native American women on some reservations are murdered at 10 times the national average, and 84 percent have experienced violence.

Sen. Heitkamp is among those who call these figures an epidemic. But LaPorte contends it's been the status quo for Native American women since the colonization of North America.

LaPorte pointed out another disturbing statistic. Of Native American women who have been sexually assaulted, 96 percent said their assailants include at least one non-native perpetrator. She said that's problematic for native communities because the Supreme Court has ruled tribes don't have jurisdiction to prosecute non-natives for crimes committed on tribal lands.

"Really, what it was, was an inherent stripping of the authority that tribes have based in their sovereignty, which predates the U.S. Constitution,” LaPorte said. "So, it's kind of the fight that we're always fighting in the background - on top of the gender-based violence, we're also always trying to consider those sovereignty pieces."

Jurisdictional lines often cross in cases on reservations, which can make it confusing for local law enforcement to know what authority they have. LaPorte said the federal government often ends up stepping in. She added the many tribal, local, state and federal agencies involved could make implementing Savanna's Act tricky if it passes.


get more stories like this via email

The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)

Environment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …


Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…


According to the World Health Organization, about one in six people age 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …

Environment

SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …

Environment

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021