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October 28, 2021

Headlines:

Sullivan, Treadwell vs. Women

You’d think a vote for the Violence Against Women Act would be a no-brainer. You’d think this because opposing violence against women should be as controversial a position as supporting the troops or enjoying apple pie. If you live in Alaska, you’d really think this is an easy vote, because all three members of Alaska’s Congressional delegation—including Republicans Lisa Murkowski and Don Young—have supported the bill in the past. Senator Murkowski has gone so far as to lobby House Republicans on reauthorizing the law, and has signed on to a bipartisan letter of support which reads in part as follows:…

Begich to Reintroduce Safe Villages Act

In the wake of revelations about specific amendments added by Sen. Lisa Murkowski to the Violence Against Women Act, passed by Congress last week, Senator Mark Begich will seek to reintroduce a relevant bill. His legislation would remove inequities that leave Alaska Native women vulnerable and unable to pursue justice for domestic violence and sexual assault cases on the same measure as tribal women in the Lower 48 states, who can legally address these issues in tribal court when the offender is non-Native. Natalie Landreth, an attorney for the Native American Rights Fund explains: “We are tired of the separate…

Murkowski Excludes Native Women from Protection

President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act this week. Finally, something bipartisan passed! American women are better protected from coast to coast — but all the way up north? Left out in the cold. First, you should know a few facts. Native American and Alaska Native women are 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than other American women. The vastness of Alaska works against victims here. We have about 140 villages with no state law enforcement. Gov. Sean Parnell believes he can get some help to them in the next 10 years. In the meantime,…

GOP Kills Violence Against Women Act

I sent a letter to House Majority Eric Cantor to bring to the floor a chance to pass the Violence Against Women Act that holds a provision giving Tribes the ability to go after offenders that have literally been getting a free pass to abuse and exploit American Indian / Alaska Natives for hundreds of years. The remoteness of reservations and rural villages makes us easy pickings and proving grounds for predators. The State and many staff with our federal delegation get so uneasy giving Tribes any sort of authority even though it is impossible for them, or fail to…