Save the Date: Implementing VAWA in California

Download(PDF): VAWA conference flyer YT 10 16

Implementing VAWA in California: Navigating Jurisdictional Waters
Yurok Tribal Office, Klamath, CA
November 17-18, 2016

This FREE regional training event will address topics including:

  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
  • Recognition and Enforcement of Tribal Protection Orders
  • Public Law 280 in California
  • BIPs – Best Practices for Offender Accountability
  • Engaging Men and Boys to Stop the Cycle of Violence
  • Coordinated Community Responses in Tribal Communities

Included with your registration is admission to a special live presentation of the acclaimed play, Mary Kathryn Nagle’s Sliver of a Full Moon, depicting the historic passage of VAWA.

Register online for FREE at:

For more information:
Contact Vicki Bates: or (708) 482-1350 extension #1344
Visit the Facebook Event Page:

Hosted by the Yurok Tribe
through a grant from the United States Department of Justice
Office on Violence Against Women.

Key Primary Documents in the VAWA Reauthorization Fight

Since it is the mission of Turtle Talk to make primary documents available to the Indian law community, here are many of the primary documents we have made available in this long-running political fight to enact what was once known as the SAVE Native Women Act in the Violence against Women Act Reauthorization:

Justice Department Legislative Proposal on Violence Against Native Women

Senate Judiciary Report March 2012

SCIA Report Dec 2012

Congressional Research Service Report

Law Professor Letter Defending SAVE Native Women Act’s Constitutionality

House Judiciary Committee Report

Former US Attorneys’ Letter Supporting SAVE Native Women Act

Federal Defenders’ Opposition

SCIA Written Testimony Nov. 2011

SCIA Written Testimony July 2011

Statement of Administrative Policy on VAWA Reauthorization Act

DOJ Framing Paper May 20 2011

Riyaz Kanji Testimony 2007

Other important materials include:

Sen. Cantwell’s speech on the Senate floor (video)

NCAI Policy Insight Brief titled, Statistics on Violence Against Native Women

White House fact sheet

BeltWayIndian Summary of Tribal Jurisdiction Provisions

Kevin Washburn’s Michigan Law Review article

Brent Leonhard article on Oliphant fix

ABA Resolution

Harold Monteau Indictment of Congressional Research Service Report Damning SAVE Native Women Act

Political commentary of note includes:

Louise Erdrich in the NYTs

UN Experts Call

David Perez

NYTs Editorial Feb. 2013

WaPo Commentary Dec. 2012

NYTs Editorial Nov. 2012

Anderson Law Opposition to Eric Cantor Draft (draft here)

Salon Commentary

The Nation Commentary

NYTs Q&A with Louise Erdrich

Caroline Mayhew in ICT

NYTs “Scourge of Rape” Article

Fletcher ACS Blog post on SAVE Native Women Act

VAWA Bill Set for Vote on Monday, NCAI Press Release

The official NCAI Press Release Here.

Senator Coburn has filed an amendment to strip the tribal provisions from VAWA. Here

Letter from NCAI Task Force co-chairs expressing opposition to amendments like the Coburn Amendment Here

Excerpt from the letter:

The NCAI Task Force on Violence Against Women is extremely concerned that misunderstandings of the political status of Indian tribes and the internal workings of the tribal court system are causing confusion on how this provision will work on the ground. Indian tribes are not a racial class, they are a political body – so the question is not whether non-Indians are subject to Indian court – the question is whether tribal governments, political entities, have the necessary jurisdiction to provide their citizens with the

public safety protections every government has the inherent duty to provide.

Amendments which place more funding in the hands of federal authorities will not address this immediate local need. We believe strongly that local government is the best government for addressing public safety concerns. For example, an amendment is being offered today which would require that tribal governments petition a U.S. District Court for an “appropriately tailored protection order excluding any persons from areas within the Indian country of the tribe.” This level of procedure for an intimately local issue is not practical and will do little to improve matters on Indian reservations. Tribal courts are the appropriate venue to issue such protection orders.

Petitioning Congress: Pass a Better Violence Against Woman Act (VAWA) Now!

Protect Native women and sign the petition today!
Protect Native women and sign the petition today!

The Indian Law Resource Center has launched a petition asking Congress to stand with Indian nations to stop the epidemic of violence against Native women.  Join the petition and urge Congress to pass a better, stronger VAWA now that will protect Native women and ALL women!

Continue reading

Crosscut: “Revictimizing Native Women for Political Purposes”


An excerpt:

Early this week, two U.S. House Representatives members and the Tacoma News Tribune took clear stands against protecting women from sexual assault.  Representatives Todd Akin, R-Missouri, and Steve King, R-Iowa, did so by promoting the concept of “legitimate rape.”  The News Tribune did so by attacking the only real hope for combating the national pandemic of violence against Native women.

As originally passed by the U.S. Senate, the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization legislation would allow tribes to exercise limited criminal jurisdiction over certain non-Indians who violate Native American women on Indian reservations. Tribes would be required to provide all rights accorded to defendants in state and federal court, and federal courts would have authority to review tribal court decisions that result in incarceration. The legislation would not raise the one-year maximum sentence that tribal courts can impose. The GOP-controlled House, however, omitted the protections for Indian women in its version of the bill.

Among those voting to omit the tribal protections were vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, U.S. Senate candidate Akin, and House Republican King. In an interview originally broadcast on Sunday, Akin suggested that an abortion would be unnecessary in the instance of a “legitimate rape” because apparently only non-legitimate rape leads to pregnancy — whatever that means. Chiming in agreement, fellow House Rep. King said that he’s never heard of a girl getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest. While Akin and King quickly recanted, they cannot as simply withdraw their votes against the Senate’s proposed protections for abused Native women.

ICT Article on Paul Ryan’s American Indian Outlook