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Health | Law | Opinion
Mark Trahant: Tribal Law and Order Act only one part of the picture


" It’s trite to say, “everything is connected.” It’s a phrase that comes up in the context of family, the environment, or perhaps, philosophy. When the subject is reservation violence, however, that same notion could be rewritten as a blunt question: Docs or cops?

Cops are getting most of the attention after the signing of the Tribal Law and Order Act. At a White House ceremony on Thursday, Lisa Marie Iyotte introduced President Barack Obama. She is an enrolled member of the White Clay People, her father’s tribe, but grew up and lives as a Sicangu Lakota or Rosebud Sioux. She had the most difficult task: Describing her own brutal assault and rape that was witnessed by her children. The attack was never prosecuted because of the jurisdictional maze that complicates criminal justice in Indian Country.

“All of you come at this from different angles, but you’re united in support of this bill because you believe, like I do, that it is unconscionable that crime rates in Indian Country are more than twice the national average and up to 20 times the national average on some reservations,” the president said. “And all of you believe, like I do, that when one in three Native American women will be raped in their lifetimes, that is an assault on our national conscience; it is an affront to our shared humanity; it is something that we cannot allow to continue.”"

Get the Story:
Docs or Cops? Domestic violence is a public health issue in Indian County (Mark Trahant 8/2)

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