FBI: Little change in anti-Native hate crimes
The number of hate crimes against American Indians and Alaska Natives remained largely unchanged last year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a report on Monday.

Based on data from law enforcement agencies across the country, the FBI said there were 61 incidents involving 76 Native American victims in 2007. That's about the same as the 60 incidents and 75 victims in 2006.

According to the data, a total of 75 anti-Native offenses occurred in 2007. The most common crime was intimidation, with 22 offenses, followed by simple assault, with 18 offenses.

White offenders committed most of the crimes against Native Americans -- a total of 44, according to the report. That was more than half of the 75 offenses in 2007.

Overall, the number of hate crimes dropped last year. There were 7,624 incidents involving 9,006 offenses and 9,535 victims, the FBI said, meaning American Indians and Alaska Natives were less than 1 percent of hate crime victims.

"Hate crimes like these are a sad reality for our country, and each year, the FBI crunches a lot of numbers to get our arms around these crimes as relayed to us by thousands of our law enforcement partners nationwide," the FBI said.

Over 13,000 law enforcement agencies -- including some but not all tribal agencies -- submitted data for the report. The overwhelming majority -- 84.7 percent -- said there were no hate crimes in their jurisdictions in 2007.

Only one tribal agency reported a hate crime last year, according to the data. That was the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin, which reported one race-related incident.

The data does not identify the race of the victim so it's not possible from this report alone to determine whether it was an anti-Indian crime. Local newspapers have reported on clashes between Indians and non-Indians on the reservation.

Likewise, the report doesn't identify the race of victims on a state-by-state basis. So it's not possible, for instance, to determine whether any of the 21 incidents of race-related hate crimes in South Dakota involved American Indians or Alaska Natives.

The FBI has jurisdiction in Indian Country but the data does not show whether the agency itself reported any hate crimes on reservations.

California, the state with the largest number of American Indians and Alaska Natives, saw the most hate crime incidents -- a total of 1,400 -- in 2007. New Jersey and Michigan were ranked second and third.

Get the Report:
Hate Crime Statistics, 2007 | Incidents, Offenses, Victims, and Known Offenders by Race