|Tribal leaders hailed the passage of S.47, a bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act that includes provisions to protect American Indian and Alaska Native women.
The Senate voted 78-22 in favor of the bill. All Democrats, plus 23 Republicans, supported the bill, which recognizes tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians who commit domestic violence offenses on reservations.
"This is violence that cuts deep into the hearts of our community. Addressing violence against any women, including Native women, is a priority of all Americans, and the safety of both Native and non-Native communities should not be marginalized,” National Congress of American Indians President Jefferson Keel said in a press release.
Attention now turns to the House, where Republican opposition kept a similar bill from moving forward last year. Republicans say the tribal jurisdiction provisions are unconstitutional.
"We feel that we are in a position of strength as we move into the House. Even with the success in the Senate, we will have our work cut out for us in the House," Terri Henry, a council representative for teh Eastern Band of Cherokee
Indians, said in a story published by The Cherokee One Feather.
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Violence Against Women Act passes Senate
(The Cherokee One Feather 2/13)
Senate votes to reauthorize Violence Against Women Act
(The Washington Post 2/13)
Senate Votes Overwhelmingly to Expand Domestic Violence Act
(The New York Times 2/13)
Senate votes to let tribal courts try non-Indians in domestic, sexual assault cases (Cronkite News 2/12)
Bipartisanship: Senate votes 78-22 to renew and expand Violence Against Women Act
Senate keeps tribal jurisdiction provisions in
VAWA measure (2/12)
Senate set for vote on VAWA
with tribal jurisdiction provisions (2/11)
Editorial: Reauthorize VAWA with tribal
jurisdiction provisions (2/11)
Failing to respond to violence against Native women (2/11)
Senate rejects alternative to VAWA without tribal
Senate set to vote on
VAWA with tribal jurisdiction provision (2/7)
White House backs tribal jurisdiction provisions in
VAWA bill (2/5)
Frontline: Closing a
loophole in VAWA to help Native women (2/5)
Ryan Dreveskracht: Tribal provisions of VAWA up for
Opinion: The Violence
Against Women Act is on life support (01/28)
Matt Remle: Violence against women, violence
against earth (1/25)
Haley Elkins: Media
goes silent on the failure to pass VAWA (1/24)
NCAI calls on Congress to pass Violence Against
Women Act (01/24)