By Vince Rinehart
A nation is never conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground.
The recent spat between Democrats and Republicans over the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) highlights where we Native peoples stand in contemporary American politics. The 18 year old VAWA is up for renewal, and the hangup is over new provisions that would expand protections to particular groups deemed vulnerable to attack, including Native women.
Huffington Post reports:
It gives tribal courts limited jurisdiction to oversee domestic violence offenses committed against Native American women by non-Native American men on tribal lands. Currently, federal and state law enforcement have jurisdiction over domestic violence on tribal lands, but in many cases, they are hours away and lack the resources to respond to those cases. Tribal courts, meanwhile, are on site and familiar with tribal laws, but lack the jurisdiction to address domestic…
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