News and Notes
Native American Legislative Update - July 2012
After the House passed its version of VAWA without the amendments that allow the Act to protect Native Women, Representatives Markey (MA) and Boren (OK) requested a hearing on the issue of rape in Indian Country. Their request went to Representative Hastings (WA), chair of the House Natural Resources Committee and Representative Young (AK), chair of the Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee.
On July 13, FCNL sent a letter signed by 25 other faith groups supporting the request for a hearing. There is no other visible movement on VAWA reauthorization.
Even the FBI seems to be getting into the spirit of developing better relations with tribal nations. This series of articles and video clips emphasizes the importance of the role that FBI agents can play in investigating federal crimes in Indian Country.
Both the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee's Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs recently held hearings on federal recognition - the process by which the Bureau of Indian Affairs officially acknowledges tribal groups. The BIA's Office of Federal Acknowledgment reviews documentation submitted by tribal groups concerning history, community, political leadership, genealogy, and identification as Indian. The Office then makes a determination as to whether or not the tribal group is entitled to a government-to-government relationship with the United States. The process often takes many years.
Both committees post news of upcoming hearings on their websites:
See more articles in the July 2012 NALU.