Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes’2018 Indian Child Welfare Legal Summit
The Montana Court Improvement Program, in conjuction with CSKT, would like to invite you to this interactive training designed to improve legal knowledge, skills, and practices in relation to Indian Child Welfare.
After opening with a case law update describing recent Montana opinions, federal court litigation, and note-worthy opinions from sister states, this CLE will provide a quick interactive refresher on the basics of tribal jurisdiction in child custody cases and the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
With this foundation in place, participants will explore topics like best practices in child welfare cases, domestic child sex trafficking, tribal code enhancement, and ethics as it relates to Indian child welfare cases. Participants will have the opportunity to break out into small affinity groups to discuss improving systems and practices across the state in order to better serve AI/AN children and families.
This two-day training is designed for tribal attorneys, tribal judges, parents’ attorneys, GALs, adoption attorneys, and state prosecutors. (Although caseworkers, CASAs, and other child welfare practitioners are welcome to join us, the focus of this training is to improve legal knowledge, skills, and practices.) Faculty includes local and national experts, practitioners, and scholars from across the country. An application for CLE credits will be filed.
For agenda, updates and more visit:
Press release here
Full text of the bill End Trafficking of Native Americans Act of 2018
U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), members of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today introduced the End Trafficking of Native Americans Act of 2018. This bill addresses some of the gaps between tribal communities and the federal government in combatting human trafficking of Native Americans and Alaska Natives. It would establish an advisory committee on human trafficking comprised of law enforcement, tribal leaders, and service providers to make recommendations to the DOI and DOJ on combatting human trafficking of Native Americans and Alaska Natives. The bill also establishes a Human Trafficking Prevention Coordinator within the Bureau of Indian Affairs to coordinate human trafficking prevention efforts across federal agencies.
“As Nevada’s Attorney General, one of my key missions was to stop the trafficking of innocent women and children and hold traffickers accountable, and I am proud to continue that work in the U.S. Senate” said Cortez Masto. “I have seen firsthand how factors including violence and historical trauma put Native Americans and Alaska Natives at an increased risk of trafficking. This bill will help coordinate investigation and prosecution efforts between federal agencies and will strengthen partnerships between the federal government, tribal leaders, law enforcement and victim advocates. I will continue to use all resources available to bring traffickers to justice and support Native American and Alaska Native survivors.”
“Human trafficking is as evil and vile an issue as any other that’s out there. It is a shocking reality that is felt deeply across the state of Alaska, impacting the Alaska Native population in devastating proportion. This legislation will allow for improved national collaboration between various agencies, tribal communities, and local law enforcement to help address human trafficking – with the assurance that an Alaskan will always have a voice at the table,” said Murkowski. “From strengthening our ability to prevent human trafficking to increasing culturally appropriate training and research programs, I am proud to help drive legislation that will help bring an end to trafficking against American Indians and Alaska Natives.”
“The federal government is aware that Native Americans are a population vulnerable to human trafficking, yet there is no comprehensive plan to address it,” said Chairman Chris Spotted Eagle of the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe. “This legislation to bring law enforcement, tribal leaders and service providers together to make recommendations to the Justice Department and the Department of Interior and to establish coordination between those agencies and the Bureau of Indian Affairs is a bridge to that plan.”
“Though we know that anecdotally human trafficking has had a devastating effect on our tribal communities, there seems to be a lack of understanding around how to best address it. This legislation will help to establish a better understanding of this issue as it relates to American Indian and Alaska Native populations in both Indian country and urban settings. We are thrilled that Senator Cortez Masto is placing a high significance on our communities and on our safety. Human trafficking of native men, women and children has for too long gone unaddressed,” said Lucy Simpson, Executive Director, National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center.
The End Trafficking of Native Americans Act is also supported by the Minnesota Indigenous Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition (MIWSAC).
My review of Andrés Reséndez’s The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America is up on JOTWELL: Equality. I highly recommend the book. It’s a dense and emotionally difficult read but well worth it for the knowledge you will gain. One of the things I was struck with was that the removal of Indian children from their homes by social services agencies has its roots in hundreds of years of stealing Indian children into slavery.
Link to the announcement here
TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER:
Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women as a Step Towards Empowerment
SAVE THE DATE
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
221 E 52nd St.
New York, NY 10022
Join us to recognize, strengthen, and honor the global movement to end violence against indigenous women.
Indigenous women around the world experience disproportionate levels of violence and murder and multiple, intersecting forms of discrimination because they are indigenous and because they are women. Too often, national justice systems fail to respond to this violence, leaving women without protection or meaningful access to justice. In this event, indigenous women leaders will speak to the situation of violence against indigenous women in the United States and Guatemala.
• Learn about barriers to safety facing American Indian and Alaska Native women in the United States, and their successes in restoring indigenous sovereignty to address violence against women.
• Learn about the grassroots movement to stop the trafficking of indigenous women in the United States.
• Learn about the spectrum of violence facing Mayan women in Guatemala and their strategies of resistance.
Panelists will also discuss strategies for urging states to advance the rights of indigenous peoples and women affirmed in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
For more information, email Jana L. Walker, at email@example.com.
A new website is now available with the express purpose of providing sex trafficking information and resources for tribal domestic violence and sexual assault coalitions. The link to the site is here.
From the site:
This website was created to provide tribal coalitions with quick access to information their advocates need–legal resources, victim service directories, training calendars, technical assistance, and more.
Additionally, we envision this site as a place for Native women to find help when dealing with violence. Individuals can reach out to their local Tribal Coalition(s) for assistance or they can easily use our Victim Services Directory themselves. We suggest, however, that individuals contact their local tribal coalition for assistance first. A Tribal Coalition can help individuals navigate options and services, and utilizing coalition connections can increase a client’s chances of receiving services or referrals immediately.
The site includes federal, state, and tribal laws, articles, resources, and information about victim services and will continue to include new information as it becomes available.
For the first time at a conference that doesn’t focus only on Indigenous issues, the Indigenous panel went first.
The opening session was titled The Roots of Violence: Indigenous Perspectives on Trafficking, Exploitation & Law
Pictured: Julian Aguon, Christine Stark, Robyn Bourgeois, Victoria Sweet, Sarah Deer, Mishuana Goeman
Join us in Chicago, Illinois for this year’s 77th Annual Conference featuring a wide range of juvenile and family law topics including child abuse and neglect, trauma, custody and visitation, judicial leadership, juvenile justice, sex trafficking of minors, family violence, drug courts, psychotropic medications, children testifying in court, detention alternatives, substance abuse, and the adolescent brain.
In addition, this year we are offering a preconference workshop, Special Consideration for Working with Adolescents with Substance Abuse Issues, designed for professionals working with juvenile justice involved youth who also have mental health, substance abuse, or trauma issues. Any juvenile court judges, juvenile drug court coordinators, attorneys, probation officers, case managers, and substance abuse treatment counselors are encouraged to attend.
Information available here.
Our own Victoria Sweet has posted her newest paper, “Rising Waters, Rising Threats: The Human Trafficking of Indigenous Women in the Circumpolar Region of the United States and Canada.”
Here is the abstract:
Among indigenous people around the world, human trafficking is taking a tremendous toll. While trafficking is not an exclusively indigenous issue, disproportionately large numbers of indigenous people, particularly women, are modern trafficking victims. In Canada, several groups concerned about human trafficking have conducted studies primarily focused on the sex trade because many sex workers are actually trafficking victims under both domestic and international legal standards. These studies found that First Nations women and youth represent between 70 and 90% of the visible sex trade in areas where the Aboriginal population is less than 10%. Very few comparable studies have been conducted in the United States, but studies in both Minnesota and Alaska found similar statistics among U.S. indigenous women.
With the current interest in resource extraction, and other opportunities in the warming Arctic, people from outside regions are traveling north in growing numbers. This rise in outside interactions increases the risk that the indigenous women may be trafficked. Recent crime reports from areas that have had an influx of outsiders such as Williston, North Dakota, U.S. and Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, both part of the new oil boom, demonstrate the potential risks that any group faces when people with no community accountability enter an area. The combination of development in rural locations, the demographic shift of outsiders moving to the north, and the lack of close monitoring in this circumpolar area is a potential recipe for disaster for indigenous women in the region. This paper suggests that in order to protect indigenous women, countries and indigenous nations must acknowledge this risk and plan for ways to mitigate risk factors.