It was an emotional scene yesterday at the White House as President Obama signed a law targeting violence on Native American reservations, reports USA Today. “It is unconscionable that crime rates in Indian Country are more than twice the national average and up to 20 times the national average on some reservations,” Obama said before signing the Tribal Law and Order Act.
Obama comforted Lisa Marie Iyotte of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, who wept as she talked about a 1994 assault. “When one in three Native American women will be raped in their lifetimes, that is an assault on our national conscience,” Obama said. “It is an affront to our shared humanity; it is something that we cannot allow to continue.” The Washington Post says the measure gives tribal courts tougher sentencing powers and sets stricter rules to gather and collect more data on crimes. Special U.S. prosecutors will be appointed to deal with the problem. See information here on a recent conference sponsored by the Center for Media, Crime and Justice on this subject: http://thecrimereport.org/2010/07/19/tribal-justice-reporting-on-crime-in-native-america/