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Native American

Sexual Assault
By: Grace Levatino and Brianna Garcia
Question:

How are sexual assault cases


handled on Native American
Reservations and what are
the effects?

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Thesis

The lack of proper funding and


complex levels of jurisdiction present
on Native American Reservations has
led to an insufficient supply of criminal
law enforcement and resources
available to victims, developing an
enclosed cycle of reported sexual
assault cases against Native women.

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Statistics
Native American
women are 2x more
likely to experience
sexual assault

36% of Native victims


avoid calling the police
because of fear of
discrimination
80% of Native
women experience
sexual violence in
their lifetime 4
A HISTORY OF
DISCRIMINATION AGAINST
NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN
Gender based violence came as a result to Christian beliefs to
assimilate gender roles onto native societies.

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1968 Federal Appellate Court
Ruling

Upheld a statute under which an American


Indian man who committed a rape in Indian
Country received a lower penalty if the victim
was a Native woman.
Shows that congress thinks that native women are
less worthy of protection

6
Federal Government Sterilization
Programs

1972-1976 thousands 36% of women


of native women under the age of 21
were forced to be were forcibly
sterilized sterilized.

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Bureau of Indian Affairs
and Churches control of
schools

Controlled boarding schools and required


children to go to them to assimilate. Is reported
that many children experience sexual violence.
Employed primarily by Native American women
and 40% have reported sexual violence.

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Custer’s Revenge (1982)

Pop culture against ➔ Video game had


native women players playing as
General George
Armstrong Custer
with the objective
to have sex with
Indian women

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Court Cases and
Acts
Oliphant v. Suquamish (1978): Supreme Court ruled that the
Oliphant Tribe lacked the authority to prosecute non-tribal
members of crimes committed on Indian land.

Duro v. Reina (1990): Upheld the Oliphant v. Suquamish


decision. Also stated that Indian tribes could not prosecute
Indians who were members of other tribes for crimes
committed by non-tribal members

18 U. S. C. §117(a): Anyone who commits domestic assault


within an indian country and has had two prior convictions in
any court proceeding shall be fined, imprisoned, or both for no
more than 5 years.

Indian Civil Rights Act: Limits the punishments tribal


governments can put on convicted persons.
- Maximum sentence was originally 6 months imprisonment
or $500 fine, or both.
- In 1986 this limitation was changed to allow for
one-year imprisonment or a $5000 fine, or both. 11
Maze of Jurisdiction
Federal State Tribal
Becomes a Becomes a State Becomes a Tribal
Federal case if… case if… case if…
-Indian -Non-Indian -Indian
perpetrator, perpetrator, perpetrator, Indian
non-Indian victim non-Indian victim victim
-Non-Indian
perpetrator, Indian
victim

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The Most Influential Issue

Funding
-Not enough funding from Federal
Government
-There are 2,500 Native tribal
uniformed officers to serve 1,400,00
Natives living on tribal lands
- Not a proper number of rape kits
available.

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1:13-2:10

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show
/tribal-justice-prosecuting-non-native
s-sexual-assault-indian-reservations

14
Target Audience:
Sexual assault organizations

Talk About why

15
Our Product

16
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TAKING ACTION!
Resources That Can Help!

-Pretty Bird Woman House on


Standing Rock Sioux Reservation
-”Women Are Sacred” Monthly
Calendar
-National Indigenous Women’s
Resource Center

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Closing

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Works Cited
Brewer, Graham Lee. “Harassment within the Bureau of Indian Affairs.” Indianz, Wednesday, March 21,

2018, https://www.indianz.com/News/2018/03/21/graham-lee-brewer-harassment-within-the.asp.

Accessed 20 February 2019.

Deer, Sarah. “Expanding the Network of Safety: Tribal Protection Orders for Survivors of Sexual Assault.”

Law School, Law School, March 2003,

http://lawschool.unm.edu/tlj/volumes/vol4/violence_women/index.html#E_Full_Faith_and_Credit_of

_Tribal_Protection_orders_for_Sexual_Assault. Accessed 20 February 2019.

Diamond, James D. “ Practicing Indian Law In Federal, State, and Tribal Criminal Courts: an Update About

Recent Expansion of Criminal Jurisdiction Over Non-Indians” American Bar, Criminal Justice,

Winter 2018,

https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publications/criminal_justice_magazine/v32/DIAMO

ND.authcheckdam.pdf. Accessed 21 February 2019.

Donelan, Brenda. ”The Unique CIrcumstances of Native American Juveniles Under Federal Supervision.”

US Courts, Volume 63, Number 2, United States Courts, December 1999,

https://www.uscourts.gov/federal-probation-journal/1999/12/unique-circumstances-native-american-j

uveniles-under-federal. Accessed 15 February 2019.


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“For Native Americans Facing Sexual Assault, Justice Feels Out of Reach.” Morning Edition, NPR, Wyoming Public Radio,

14 November 2017, 5:00an,

https://www.npr.org/2017/11/14/563059526/for-native-americans-facing-sexual-assault-justice-feels-out-of-reach.

Accessed 17 February 2019.

Fraser, Jaymee. “Law to fight domestic violence in Indian Country at stake in Montana case before Supreme Court.”

Missoilion, Apr 18, 2016,

https://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/law-to-fight-domestic-violence-in-indian-country-at-stake/article_1a5a

9923-8820-5143-8b97-7859e3bbff9a.html. Accessed 20 February 2019.

“General Guide to Criminal Jurisdiction in Indian Country.” Tribal Court Hearinghouse,

https://www.tribal-institute.org/lists/jurisdiction.htm. Accessed on 21 2019.

“Maze of Injustice.” The failure to protect Indigenous women from sexual violence

in the USA, Amnesty International USA, 2007, https://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/mazeofinjustice.pdf. Accessed 19

February 2019.

NewsHour, PBS. “For Native Americans, Sexual Assault Cases Are 'Falling through the Cracks'.” YouTube, YouTube, 18 Nov.

2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRNYKRy7NhU. Accessed 20 February 2019.

NewsHour, PBS. “Tribal Justice: Prosecuting Non-Natives for Sexual Assault on Reservations.” PBS, Public Broadcasting

Service, 5 Sept. 2015,

www.pbs.org/newshour/show/tribal-justice-prosecuting-non-natives-sexual-assault-indian-reservations.
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Reynolds, Megan. “The Bureau of Indian Affairs Has a Serious Harassment Problem.” The Slot, 3/14/18

3:20,

https://theslot.jezebel.com/the-bureau-of-indian-affairs-has-a-serious-harassment-p-1823769396.

Accessed 21 February 2019

Rizzo, Jessica. “Native American Women Are Rape Targets Because of a Legislative Loophole.” Vice, Dec

16 2015, 10:00am,

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bnpb73/native-american-women-are-rape-targets-because-of-a-le

gislative-loophole-511. Accessed 20 February 2019.

“United States v. Bryant: Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.” Supreme

Court of the United States, NO. 15-420, Supreme Court, 19 April 2016- 13 June 2016,

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/15pdf/15-420_5425.pdf. Accessed 20 February 2019.

“Victims of Sexual Violence: Statistics.”Rainn, Rainn,

https://www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence. Accessed 20 February 2019.

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