indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Native American Bank - Native people investing in Native communities
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Tribes face deadline to join national sex offender registry
Monday, April 30, 2007
Filed Under: Law | National

Tribes across the country face a critical deadline if they want to prevent state governments from asserting jurisdiction on their reservations.

Under a little-noticed provision of a new federal law, tribes have to pass a resolution by July 27 to join a national offender registry and notification system. If tribes don't act by that date, the state will automatically have jurisdiction to enforce the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which became law last year.

The provision was drafted with almost no input from tribes. "There wasn't any consultation or really any recognition of how tribes have been addressing this issue," said Virginia Davis of the National Congress of American Indians at the recent Federal Bar Association's Indian law conference.

NCAI has drafted a model resolution for tribes to consider as the date approaches. Davis said all tribes, even in Public Law 280 states where states already have civil and criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country, should take action

"It's a hard and fast deadline," Davis said. "We have a window of opportunity that will close on July 27 and if a tribe hasn't taken action by that date, they will be left out of the system ... forever."

At the same time, NCAI is working on Capitol Hill on potential changes to the law. A resolution passed at the group's recent winter session in Washington, D.C., called the provision an "unprecedented diminishment of tribal sovereignty."

"It's been a long time since I've seen Congress write that kind of a law," Juana Majel Dixon, the secretary of NCAI, said at the time.

But even if the law isn't changed, Davis said tribes will have two years from July 27 to develop and maintain a sex offender registry. The Department of Justice can extend the deadline and is authorized to make grants to help tribes comply with the act, although no money has been appropriated so far.

Citing high rates of child abuse and domestic and family violence, tribes have been working to address the issue of sex offenders. One achievement came with the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2005, which contained a tribal-specific title.

Title IX authorized a national tribal sex offender registry and authorized tribes to enter information about their cases into a national criminal information database. NCAI says the proposed system, which has not been funded by the Bush administration, is more consistent with tribal sovereignty than the provisions in the Adam Walsh Act.

Separately, tribes have been passing their own laws to implement sex offender registries and have entered into agreements with states. Tribes in Minnesota, which falls under Public Law 280, have been cooperating with the state since last year, after a court case raised doubts about the state's jurisdiction on reservations.

"Far from being an abdication of tribal sovereignty, we believe this was an extension of our cooperative law enforcement agreement and was the ultimate expression of government-to-government relations," Robert Bohn, a lawyer for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota, said at the Federal Bar conference.

If the tribe hadn't acted, a sex offender could live on the reservation without reporting to tribal or state authorities, Bohn said. "You are creating safe haven for child molesters, kidnappers and the worst predatory offenders," he said.

The Adam Walsh Act contains some language on cooperation. The section recognizes the right of tribes to develop their own offender systems or to "arrange" for a state or local jurisdiction to carry out such a system through a cooperative agreement.

Relevant Laws:
Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act | Violence Against Women Act of 2005

Relevant Documents:
White House Fact Sheet: The Adam Walsh Child Protection And Safety Act Of 2006 | President Signs H.R. 4472, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006

Related Court Decision:
Minnesota v. Peter John Jones (March 22, 2007)

Relevant Links:
National Congress of American Indians - http://www.ncai.org
Office of Violence Against Women, DOJ - http://www.usdoj.gov/ovw

Related Stories:
'No one cares' about violence against Native women (4/30)
Editorial: Injustice for indigenous women (4/27)
Editorial: U.S. fails to protect Native women (4/26)
BIA ties violence against women to meth abuse (4/26)
Violence against Native women a 'national disgrace' (4/25)
Report details 'maze' Native women victims face (4/25)
Amnesty report on violence against Native women (4/24)
Court allows state offender registry on reservations (3/23)
Opinion: Tribes and national sex offender registry (3/23)
NCAI 2007: Updates from winter session in Washington (02/27)
Minnesota tribes work with state to track offenders (08/02)
Editorial: State shouldn't fight tribal sovereignty (8/1)
Pawlenty wants jurisdiction ruling overturned (7/29)
State may seek agreements with tribes on registry (7/28)
Minnesota appeals court limits state jurisdiction (7/27)

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Chairman of Quapaw Tribe endorses Democrat Hillary Clinton (5/24)
Native American Children's Safety Act clears last hurdle on Hill (5/24)
9th Circuit won't rehear Tohono O'odham Nation gaming case (5/24)
Lakota Country Times: Army promises return of tribal children (5/24)
Native Sun News: New business sprouts up at Wounded Knee (5/24)
Mark Trahant: Tulalip citizen lands role in Democratic platform (5/24)
Brandon Ecoffey: Pine Ridge unites for search of missing men (5/24)
Men who went missing found dead on Pine Ridge Reservation (5/24)
Billy Mills: Flawed poll can't justify use of team's racist mascot (5/24)
Richard King: Mascot poll reflects pervasive anti-Indian racism (5/24)
Marco Alvarez: Voices of indigenous people usually go unheard (5/24)
Indian Health Service facility cited for treatment of 6-month-old (5/24)
Tribes meet to discuss sale of ancestors and property in France (5/24)
Families of missing Native women in Canada still await justice (5/24)
Menominee Nation considers options after losing hemp lawsuit (5/24)
Dental group appears to relent on therapists in Indian Country (5/24)
Alaska Natives welcome removal of 'Eskimo' from federal laws (5/24)
Joba Chamberlain lands on disabled list after joining new team (5/24)
Coquille Tribe awaits environmental review for gaming project (5/24)
Seminole Tribe still going strong despite lack of new casino deal (5/24)
Long wait hints at tie in closely-watched tribal jurisdiction case (5/23)
Another Indian Health Service facility in Great Plains threatened (5/23)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee schedules hearing on wildfires (5/23)
Supreme Court delays review of Seneca Nation land case again (5/23)
Native Sun News: Pine Ridge school hosts meth awareness day (5/23)
Lakota Country Times: Native men still missing after two weeks (5/23)
Tim Giago: Some good old days really were the 'good old days' (5/23)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Jay Silverheels was more than 'Tonto' (5/23)
Delphine Red Shirt: It's our duty to teach the Lakota language (5/23)
Ernestine Chasing Hawk: A vendetta in the death of Anna Mae (5/23)
Native Sun News: Rapid City group aims to address disparities (5/23)
Tara Houska: Mascots hurt Native youth despite results of poll (5/23)
Vincent Schilling: Mascot poll doesn't reflect true Indian voices (5/23)
Wenona Wolf: Native people are invisible in our own homeland (5/23)
Roger Birdbear: Obamacare can help address shortfalls at IHS (5/23)
Harold Monteau: Lessons from Canada in Native law and policy (5/23)
Steven Newcomb: Church edicts lead to centuries of domination (5/23)
Robert Jumper: Gaming leads Eastern Cherokees to bright future (5/23)
Naomi Schaefer Riley: Hold tribal leaders accountable for schools (5/23)
Benjamin Madley: Acknowledge the genocide of California tribes (5/23)
Jasmine Heiss: Leonard Peltier's fate lies with President Obama (5/23)
Santa Fe Indian School preparing for First Lady Michelle Obama (5/23)
All charges dropped for murder of Cheyenne man in New Mexico (5/23)
Donald Trump claims 'Jack Abrahamoff scandal' proves him right (5/23)
Kickapoo Tribe added to lawsuit over deadly casino bus accident (5/23)
Settlement opens door to tribal casino at popular Oklahoma lake (5/23)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge youth learn about martial arts (5/20)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe halts referendum on alcohol (5/20)
Clara Caufield: Off to a new adventure in the Montana mountains (5/20)
Washington Post conducts poll on Native views of racist mascot (5/20)
Warm Springs Tribes see marijuana as means to boost economy (5/20)
Miccosukee Tribe agrees to $4M settlement with former law firm (5/20)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.