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October 25, 2021


Murkowski Responds to Accusations


Sunday afternoon Senator Lisa Murkowski borrowed a move from Sarah Palin and responded on her Facebook page to an article I wrote yesterday which first appeared in The Anchorage Daily News, and on The Mudflats.

“It’s incredibly important to clear up the confusion created by Shannyn Moore’s piece today — and I want Alaskans to hear it directly from me. The amendment she misconstrued focused on tribal jurisdiction over non-Natives who are accused of domestic or sexual assault on reservation land. Of Alaska’s 229 federally-recognized tribes, Alaska only has one reservation: Metlakatla. My amendment was introduced to spell out in no uncertain terms that Metlakatla would receive the same rights and jurisdiction granted to Lower 48 reservations. It was inclusive language, not what Ms. Moore suggested — and it received praise from the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska.

Secondly, I cannot agree more that sexual and domestic violence is a blight on our state, especially in rural areas, and that what we are doing is not enough. This is why the other language I included in the bill — but was not mentioned — was to reestablish and authorize funding for the Alaska Rural Justice and Law Enforcement Commission to provide a permanent forum for the tribes, the state, and the federal government to work together on rural safety issues. Yes, I said ‘fund.’ Fiscal discipline is necessary to restore a sustainable future for our nation, but funding rural justice efforts is work that I will fight for as our people are losing their futures through abuse and despair.

I am discouraged by Ms. Moore’s research and I am disheartened by the attempt to score partisan points on an issue that should be above politics.”

Natalie Landreth, an attorney for the Native American Rights Fund pointed out that Senator Murkowski’s bill just enforced the status quo of protections that aren’t working for too many of our Alaskan sisters.

“False. The text of 910 is that it excludes Alaska from 904 and 905. 904 deals with criminal jurisdiction and even that is not limited to reservations — it provides for tribal criminal jurisdiction over non-native domestic violence perpetrators if the crime occurs on reservation land, OR the victim lives on a reservation OR if the perp is in an intimate relationship with a tribal member. It’s not all linked to land. And this all makes no sense — if the provision by its own terms only applied to reservations, Metlakatla would Automatically be included; there would be no need for a special rule.
Her response is even more disingenuous with respect to section 905. That is the civil jurisdiction provision and it is not limited to reservations in any way. Even if it was, there would be no need for a special rule for Metlakatla — they would automatically be included.”

Almost 100 tribes oppose what the Senator has done. Read this press release – it’s crystal clear.

Here’s the language for the not-so-special-let’s-just-keep-the-status-quo rule:


(a) Expanded Jurisdiction- In the State of Alaska, the amendments made by sections 904 and 905 shall only apply to the Indian country (as defined in section 1151 of title 18, United States Code) of the Metlakatla Indian Community, Annette Island Reserve.

(b) Retained Jurisdiction- The jurisdiction and authority of each Indian tribe in the State of Alaska under section 2265(e) of title 18, United States Code (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act)–

(1) shall remain in full force and effect; and

(2) are not limited or diminished by this Act or any amendment made by this Act.

(c) Savings Provision- Nothing in this Act or an amendment made by this Act limits or diminishes the jurisdiction of the State of Alaska, any subdivision of the State of Alaska, or any Indian tribe in the State of Alaska.

Last year, the Department of Justice addressed the “drafting error” that just happened again this year. As reported by Indian Country Today Media:

“The Department of Justice sent its proposal for VAWA tribal provisions to Congress last July,” Allison Price, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Justice, told Indian Country Today Media Network. “Those provisions were of nationwide scope and did not exclude any state or any set of tribes.

“To ensure the safety of Native women, it is critically important that tribal courts in Alaska and throughout the United States retain full civil jurisdiction to issue and enforce protection orders,” Price added.

That sounded reasonable. The Obama administration wanted ALL women protected.

The article states: “Earlier in the month (April 2012), the Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska passed a resolution opposing the Senate bill’s language that tribal leaders say “discriminates against Alaska Native families.”  The same people who appreciated being the protections of Lower 48 tribes this year had to fight Murkowski on it last year. So, one out of 229 are pleased.

As far as Murkowski’s assertion that I didn’t research, or that I’m using this issue for partisan points? Twenty-two members of the Senate, all in her party, voted against the VAWA.

Her party held up the passage of the bill which hadn’t been partisan before.

The federal government was fine with giving jurisdiction to Alaskan tribes. Murkowski nixed that. Governor Sean Parnell treats our rape statistics like a marketing problem. The “Choose Respect” campaign is merely re-branding a devastating problem. What is your solution, Senator? Who can respond to Alaskan women in crisis? Do we call Bono and ask for a telethon? We must do whatever it takes to make sure there is a responding entity to deal with whomever the perpetrators are.

Stop blocking progress by ensuring the status quo – where are your solutions?



13 Responses to “Murkowski Responds to Accusations”
  1. The Lawman says:

    CIRI and NANA need to get off their asses and take back the land and oil…kick politicians to the curb…
    They have Aborigine rights to the land…now is time to say “REPO MAN”…lol…would pay per view to see that!!!
    Screw all this political bantering while they steal the piggy banks folks…coommmon GET UP!!! FIGHT!!!
    If I have to do it – you can certainly do it….we in humanity are in this together…piss poor management so far…but hey? power of the peoples indeed…let’s embarrass them good…teach them some manners as elders do…

    • Lawman,,,I agree and like your comments. Just so you know, I and three other indigenous folks of Alaska founded the Indigenous Justice Alliance, Inc. back in July, 2012…the Alliance is still in its formative and organizational stage, but we have created a website,, wherein we are publishing certain ANCSA, Tribal and Indigenous news articles, that we believe are important to our people. Our primary focus is to educate, instruct and inform the general public as to the issues before our Tribes and ANCSA corporations. Another important focus of the Alliance is to address the 1987 ANCSA Amendment whereby our stock restrictions were arbitrarily extended, indefinitely, so, each of us who are ANCSA stockholders are locked in to our respective corporations, with no way to get out…except to die! We cannot sell, trade or collateralize our stock, like other corporate shareholder can. That same arbitrary amendment also does away with our dissenter’s rights…whereby it does any of us shareholders NO GOOD to complain, about anything our corporations may be doing, good or bad!. We, in the Alliance, would like to have that 1987 ANCSA Amendment revisited…and revoked, so that ANCSA shareholders could sell, trade or take their stock to a bank and/or get out of being a locked-in ANCSA shareholder. All or most of the Congressional amendments were done arbitrarily and without any public hearings before those of us whom are detrimentally affected!. Check out our website, and email me your thoughts, if interested: Regards.

  2. Has it occured to you... says:

    Murkowski is grasping straws now…she must have got a scolding from her father…lol….I can see his look with the question “you have got to be kidding me” with disgust on his face…he might be a oil man but he protects women, children, and the elderly with that same power… I think his wife has something to do with that…

  3. THANK YOU, SHANNYN ……! Keep fighting the good fight….the honorable fight.!

  4. tallimat says:

    Hey, we don’t need no stinking tribal jurisdiction over tribal members !
    We the POTUS to fund a commission to discuss the justice issues in rural alaska!

    That is what Murkowski has done for Alaska under VAWA.

    I can’t wait to ask her about this during her annual parade at Alaska Federation of Natives convention.

    Lisa Murkowski, your nothing two faced when it comes to Alaska’s First Peoples.

  5. Dagian says:

    I just found this tonight at; I hope you don’t mind my posting this here as Bellatrix Lestrange (Sarah Palin) is mentioned.

    Sarah Palin to write Christmas book

    Posted by Aaron Blake on March 11, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has signed a contract to write another book — this one about Christmas.

    HarperCollins has announced Palin’s book, titled “A Happy Holiday IS a Merry Christmas,” will be released in November, according to the Associated Press.

    The book will reportedly focus on returning the Christmas holiday back to its religious purpose and downplaying the commercialism that has come to define it.

    If it weren’t for the fact that it requires real imagination, creativity and TALENT, I would wonder if she were going to pen a pop-up book. I still think the dialogue will be a real stretch for her writing skills.

    • Alaska Cod Piece says:

      Dagian, $arah has no writing skills and will once again use a ghostwriter and pay for it with her “postage” money per her bogus financial (non)disclosure also too. Thanks for a great heads up!

      • Dagian says:

        Oh, I know. There are two additional points that amuse me about this unwritten book.

        1) Harper Collins is owned by Rupert Murdoch – which explains the ongoing fetish with Sarah Palin.
        2) If this book is really about decrying the commercialization of Christmas, then it should be GIVEN AWAY rather than SOLD.

        *snorts with laughter*

  6. She lied, and was shot down again. Einstein was right. The surest sign of stupidity, is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.

  7. Alaska Cod Piece says:

    Ohhhhh, how brave to respond via Facebook a la Paylin!

    Ms Lisa makes the mistake of thinking that everyone is a Facebook user. Thousands of Alaskans choose not to use that social medium, or don’t have access — like those who live in remote regions — the target audience for Shannyn’s column. But they will miss her “brave” rebuttal.

    The Senator should ask to be interviewed by the ADN – or write an OpEd to “clarify” and have it posted in every AK paper that will run it. Her cop out in using tired, stock phrases like “partisan points” is a bore and a feeble way to end her “argument.” Not very convincing. And hiding behind Facebook makes her no better than Alaska’s uber-coward, $arah.

    Sadly, Sen. Lisa says too many things that don’t jive with her behavior and votes. And if it wasn’t for people like Shannyn and Mudflats, Alaskans would never know about it.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Begich did not specifically address Murkowski’s role in inserting the amendments to the Violence Against Women Act, nor her response to Moore’s column on her own Facebook page. That response, and Moore’s rebuttal can be read HERE. […]

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