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
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
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:
Native Sun News: First Nations Sculpture Garden breaks ground (8/28)
Native Sun News: Lower Brule Sioux Tribe misses Cobell deadline (8/28)
James Giago Davies: There's trouble brewing on the racist horizon (8/28)
Simon Moya-Smith: A Republican slur on our indigenous relatives (8/28)
Kyle Mays: Connections between Creole and Native communities (8/28)
Mike Myers: Tribes deserve our own seats on international level (8/28)
Opinion: Supreme Court should pass on Jim Thorpe NAGPRA case (8/28)
Navajo Nation to reopen irrigation canal after Gold King mine spill (8/28)
Native executive wasn't surprised by 'No Natives please' rental ad (8/28)
Tribal members in Minnesota assert treaty right to gather wild rice (8/28)
County hopes to revive foreclosure lawsuit against Cayuga Nation (8/28)
Washington Supreme Court affirms legality of tribal gas compacts (8/28)
County sheriff questions authority of tribal officers in New Mexico (8/28)
Nooksack Tribe concerned about impact of slowly melting glaciers (8/28)
Supreme Court Justice Thomas favors conservative leaning briefs (8/28)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe prepares for decision on gaming plan (8/28)
San Manuel Band hires executive director for gaming commission (8/28)
Kumeyaay Nation still waiting to repatriate ancestors despite win (8/27)
IHS plans to expand service area for Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe (8/27)
Native Sun News: Health workers join together for race relations (8/27)
Ivan Star: Oglala Sioux government fails majority of our people (8/27)
Steve Russell: Donald Trump isn't the only crazy one in the race (8/27)
Harlan McKosato: Isleta Pueblo opposes city development plan (8/27)
Julianne Jennings: People of color must unite for justice or else (8/27)
Hillary Clinton campaign reaches out to tribal voters in Nevada (8/27)
EPA releases internal report into Gold King Mine spill disaster (8/27)
Southern Ute Tribe hosts top DOJ officials at crime conference (8/27)
Paper must ask to attend Eastern Cherokee council meetings (8/27)
Koi Nation praises charges against man accused of looting site (8/27)
Pokagon Band breaks ground on village with housing complex (8/27)
Tribes provide fire services on and off reservations in California (8/27)
Chumash Tribe signs new Class III casino compact in California (8/27)
Tohono O'odham Nation heading back in court in casino lawsuit (8/27)
Ak-Chin Indian Community announces $100M casino expansion (8/27)
Lower Sioux Indian Community debuts $22M casino expansion (8/27)
Little Traverse Bay Bands plan new development at old casino (8/27)
Seminole Tribe wins major ruling in taxation dispute in Florida (8/26)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee sets hearing on EPA mine spill (8/26)
Indian Health Service to hold a second meeting for LGBT issues (8/26)
Obama picks for National Advisory Council on Indian Education (8/26)
Native Sun News: Lakota grandmother debuts film about uranium (8/26)
Native Sun News: Miss Crow Fair thanks family for strong support (8/26)
Terese Marie Mailhot: Beware of vicious and deadly gossip on rez (8/26)
Former Navajo Nation leaders blamed for lack of women's shelter (8/26)
Man charged with murder of Crow Tribe couple could face death (8/26)
Former executives charged with theft from Chippewa Cree Tribe (8/26)
Northern Arapaho Tribe asks Obama to drop appeal in eagle case (8/26)
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.