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Obama administration against Alaska tribal VAWA exclusion

The Obama administration opposes the exclusion of Alaska Natives from the tribal authority provisions of S.1925, a bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

In July 2011, the Department of Justice and the White House unveiled a bill to recognize tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians who commit domestic violence offenses. The proposal did not exclude tribes in Alaska.

“Those provisions were of nationwide scope and did not exclude any state or any set of tribes," a DOJ spokesperson told Indian Country Today.

The tribal provisions were included in S.1925 when it was introduced in November 2011. But by the time the Senate Judiciary Committee approved it by a party-line vote at a business meeting on February 2, 2012, Alaska tribes were excluded.

ICT reported that Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), a co-sponsor of S.1925, will offer an amendment to address the exclusion of Alaska Natives from Section 905, which recognizes tribal authority over civil protection orders.

But she didn't say anything about Section 904, which deals with tribal court authority, ICT reported.

Get the Story:
Obama Against Alaska Native VAWA Exclusion; Murkowski’s Role Examined (Indian Country Today 4/25)
The Caucus: Discord on the Hill Extends to Domestic Violence Law (The New York Times 4/25)

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