Three pilot tribes have been chosen by the Obama Administration to take early advantage of Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provisions passed by Congress last year that allow tribes to prosecute non-Indian offenders for domestic violence offenses on reservations.
The Justice Department announced February 6 that the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, the Tulalip Tribes of Washington, and the Umatilla Tribes of Oregon will be the first in the nation to be able to exercise criminal jurisdiction over certain crimes of domestic and dating violence, regardless of the defendant’s Indian or non-Indian status, under the 2013 VAWA law.
“Our actions today mark a historic turning point,” Associate Attorney General Tony West said in a press release announcing the decision. “We believe that by certifying certain tribes to exercise jurisdiction over these crimes, we will help decrease domestic and dating violence in Indian country, strengthen tribal capacity to administer justice and control crime, and ensure that perpetrators of sexual violence are held accountable for their criminal behavior.”
Read the full article at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/02/06/three-tribes-begin-prosecuting-non-indian-domestic-violence-offenders-153449