Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
NEW YORK Sarah Deer, assistant professor at William Mitchell College of Law and Citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, was part of a panel on MSNBC's UP with Chris Hayes news program Sunday morning. She was there to explain the tribal provision component of the Violence Against Women Act.
Sarah Deer, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, on the
MSNBC News Program Sunday Morning
Deer is an expert on violence against Native women and has testified before Congress several times on the subject. She is co-author of the "Garden of Truth: The Prostitution and Sex Trafficking of Native Women in Minnesota" that was released in October 2011. She also is an Amnesty International's Native American and Alaska Native Advisory Council Member.
Deer's appearance was a rare opportunity afforded any American Indian to explain why the tribal provision is so important to Native women throughout Indian country.
As a matter of fact, the program's host Chris Hayes speaking general terms concerning the subject said the Violence Against Women Act has been under the radar by the mainstream media.
It is hopeful the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act will get out of the lame duck Congress before it adjourns.
Deer talked about the realities of violence against Native women and why it is important for the tribal provision to be part of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
“With Native women, no one shows up if we call 911, if we even have 911, or they come three days later,”
Deer indicated that lack of knowledge of how tribal courts are operated may be a contributing factor in some Republican lawmakers to support the tribal provision.
“There is a lot of education that hasn't happened. We have a couple of House leaders with no Indian country in their jurisdictions.”
They have a mythology about what tribal courts do; that it's this mysterious unfair system and, in fact, tribal courts are very fair. And, the fact that we cannot prosecute non-Indians is leaving a huge hole in our communities in terms of safety. If we can educate some of our House leaders as to what tribal courts can and can't do, and that we need this jurisdiction, I think we can help more victims.
Hayes asked Deer to describe how tribal courts may differ from non-tribal courts.
“We're talking about licensed attorneys. We're talking about educated judges. We're talking about fairness. We're talking about due process. And I think a lot of people don't realize that's actually the case. They think tribal courts are somehow outside of the Constitution. We have our own constitutions and they are very consistent with what we have in the American system,”
posted December 17, 2012 6:30 am est