Author Archive

A Wednesday Moment

June 4, 2014

 

 

A Wednesday ritual*. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

*inspired by a great flower site –floret

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A Wednesday Moment

May 28, 2014

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A Wednesday ritual*. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

*inspired by a great flower site –floret

VAWA 2013 -Part 3

August 22, 2013

I usually enjoy the depth and breadth of articles in the Alaska Journal of  Commerce but this one was just weird.

Publishing an article in Alaska about the new provisions for tribes in VAWA 2013 with nary a mention of how it might play out here ?

Alaska has the highest percentage of Native peoples, full blood and mixed race, to the overall state population in America and not one thing was said about effects of this legislation  here? In an Alaskan publication?

Oy. Some dropped balls bounce pretty high on the horizon. This one did.

Anyway, here’s the  kicker for Alaska :

SEC. 204. TRIBAL JURISDICTION OVER CRIMES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

a) Definitions- In this section:

(3) INDIAN COUNTRY- The term ‘Indian country’ has the meaning given the term in section 1151 of title 18, United States Code.

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18 USC § 1151 – Indian country defined Except as otherwise provided in sections 1154 and 1156 of this title, the term “Indian country”, as used in this chapter, means

(a) all land within the limits of any Indian reservation under the jurisdiction of the United States Government, notwithstanding the issuance of any patent, and, including rights-of-way running through the reservation,
(b) all dependent Indian communities within the borders of the United States whether within the original or subsequently acquired territory thereof, and whether within or without the limits of a state, and
(c) all Indian allotments, the Indian titles to which have not been extinguished, including rights-of-way running through the same.

VAWA 2013 ties its provisions to Indian Country.

Alaska has a peculiar situation as regards “Indian Country”

This paper by Geoffrey D Strommer and Stephen D Osborne looks at that situation quite clearly

Today Alaska Native tribes face one of their most difficult challenges since the days of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). Ever since the United States Supreme Court ruled in Alaska v. Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government, 522 U.S. 520 (1998), that ANCSA largely extinguished “Indian country” in Alaska, and thus the
tribes’ territorial jurisdiction, the extent of Alaska tribal sovereignty and authority has been shrouded in uncertainty.
and is well worth the read.
We have very limited uncontested Indian country here- the Metlakatla Reservation and Native Allotments (the Indian Country status attached to them have been a bone of contention with the state regarding multiple issues) are Indian country under law.
VAWA 2013 included a special rule for Alaska , reported to have been added by our Senator Murkowski :

 SEC. 910. SPECIAL RULE FOR THE STATE OF ALASKA.

(a) Expanded Jurisdiction- In the State of Alaska, the amendments made by sections 904 and 905 shall only apply to the Indian country (as defined in section 1151 of title 18, United States Code) of the Metlakatla Indian Community, Annette Island Reserve.

(b) Retained Jurisdiction- The jurisdiction and authority of each Indian tribe in the State of Alaska under section 2265(e) of title 18, United States Code (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act)–

(1) shall remain in full force and effect; and

(2) are not limited or diminished by this Act or any amendment made by this Act.

(c) Savings Provision- Nothing in this Act or an amendment made by this Act limits or diminishes the jurisdiction of the State of Alaska, any subdivision of the State of Alaska, or any Indian tribe in the State of Alaska.

At first glance , it is merely an exemption for Alaska , from the VAWA provisions which confer tribal jurisdiction in domestic violence and sexual assault cases and feels like a slap in the face to the deep and abiding problems we have here.

Looking at it more carefully, it seems more like an at-least-hold-the-line-we-have-now dealie.

(There are some concerns it might lose some ground as regards concurrent jurisdiction of State and Tribes as regards the State enforcing Tribal Protection Orders but I can’t find a reasoned argument as to how and why  that may be so.)

The line-we-have-now is pretty messy and vulnerable Alaskans are being harmed everyday we fool around trying to tidy it up.

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Next:

If you are  still hanging in here , there are some the-line-we-have-now issues to look at as well as Senator Begich’s Safe Villages Act which he has reintroduced with Senator Murkowski as co-sponsor.

Listening to the Aunties

August 17, 2013

8-16-2013 7;46;12 PMWhen I was small, I loved to sit very still (until they forgot I was there) and listen to the Aunties talk and tell stories.

They talked of all things, their families, their homes, food, their dreams, their beginnings.   They laughed a lot, they cried every little once in awhile.

Always around a kitchen table. Sometimes relaxing with coffee, sometimes preparing and cooking food, sometimes canning, but always at a kitchen table.

Someone would eventually realize I was there  and send me off to play with the other children, to get more canning jars or out to the garden for more strawberries.

I grew into the family as well as the world with a rich sense of membership, a knowing of the where and what I had come from.

It has always been hard  for me to describe the where, what and all to others though.

Now one of the Aunties who can describe it all has invited any folks who wish to join us to the family table.

in Kodiak July 1982

Please -join us. There is room at the table for all.

Pioneer Peak Cover

from
Joy Harjo’s  Perhaps The World Ends Here
(one of my favorite poems ever )

VAWA 2013- Part 2

June 9, 2013

We talk a lot about being a nation of laws, not of (hu)man  but I think we too often forget to go look at a law itself . We get all whupped up pro or con without
looking at the actual proposed or passed law.

Some arguments about a proposed law are really important but get lost in the general chatter. This one was no exception. More on that later.

Whether you read it through , or bookmark it to refer to at some point , I really think we need to have it at hand,  so here’s  the text of the law as it relates to American Indian and Alaska Native Women:

( A fair amount of the language amends or adds to other Federal law )

 

TITLE IX–SAFETY FOR INDIAN WOMEN

SEC. 901. GRANTS TO INDIAN TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS.

Section 2015(a) of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796gg-10(a)) is amended–

(1) in paragraph (2), by inserting ‘sex trafficking,’ after ‘sexual assault,’;

(2) in paragraph (4), by inserting ‘sex trafficking,’ after ‘sexual assault,’;

(3) in paragraph (5), by striking ‘and stalking’ and all that follows and inserting ‘sexual assault, sex trafficking, and stalking;’;

(4) in paragraph (7)–

(A) by inserting ‘sex trafficking,’ after ‘sexual assault,’ each place it appears; and

(B) by striking ‘and’ at the end;

(5) in paragraph (8)–

(A) by inserting ‘sex trafficking,’ after ‘stalking,’; and

(B) by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and

(6) by adding at the end the following:

‘(9) provide services to address the needs of youth who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking, or stalking and the needs of youth and children exposed to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, including support for the nonabusing parent or the caretaker of the youth or child; and

‘(10) develop and promote legislation and policies that enhance best practices for responding to violent crimes against Indian women, including the crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking, and stalking.’.

SEC. 902. GRANTS TO INDIAN TRIBAL COALITIONS.

Section 2001 of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796gg) is amended by striking subsection (d) and inserting the following:

‘(d) Tribal Coalition Grants-

‘(1) PURPOSE- The Attorney General shall award a grant to tribal coalitions for purposes of–

‘(A) increasing awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault against Indian women;

‘(B) enhancing the response to violence against Indian women at the Federal, State, and tribal levels;

‘(C) identifying and providing technical assistance to coalition membership and tribal communities to enhance access to essential services to Indian women victimized by domestic and sexual violence, including sex trafficking; and

‘(D) assisting Indian tribes in developing and promoting State, local, and tribal legislation and policies that enhance best practices for responding to violent crimes against Indian women, including the crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking, and stalking.

‘(2) GRANTS- The Attorney General shall award grants on an annual basis under paragraph (1) to–

‘(A) each tribal coalition that–

‘(i) meets the criteria of a tribal coalition under section 40002(a) of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (42 U.S.C. 13925(a));

‘(ii) is recognized by the Office on Violence Against Women; and

‘(iii) provides services to Indian tribes; and

‘(B) organizations that propose to incorporate and operate a tribal coalition in areas where Indian tribes are located but no tribal coalition exists.

‘(3) USE OF AMOUNTS- For each of fiscal years 2014 through 2018, of the amounts appropriated to carry out this subsection–

‘(A) not more than 10 percent shall be made available to organizations described in paragraph (2)(B), provided that 1 or more organizations determined by the Attorney General to be qualified apply;

‘(B) not less than 90 percent shall be made available to tribal coalitions described in paragraph (2)(A), which amounts shall be distributed equally among each eligible tribal coalition for the applicable fiscal year.

‘(4) ELIGIBILITY FOR OTHER GRANTS- Receipt of an award under this subsection by a tribal coalition shall not preclude the tribal coalition from receiving additional grants under this title to carry out the purposes described in paragraph (1).

‘(5) MULTIPLE PURPOSE APPLICATIONS- Nothing in this subsection prohibits any tribal coalition or organization described in paragraph (2) from applying for funding to address sexual assault or domestic violence needs in the same application.’.

SEC. 903. CONSULTATION.

Section 903 of the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 14045d) is amended–

(1) in subsection (a)–

(A) by striking ‘and the Violence Against Women Act of 2000’ and inserting ‘, the Violence Against Women Act of 2000’; and

(B) by inserting ‘, and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013’ before the period at the end;

(2) in subsection (b)–

(A) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking ‘Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services’ and inserting ‘Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of the Interior,’; and

(B) in paragraph (2), by striking ‘and stalking’ and inserting ‘stalking, and sex trafficking’; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

‘(c) Annual Report- The Attorney General shall submit to Congress an annual report on the annual consultations required under subsection (a) that–

‘(1) contains the recommendations made under subsection (b) by Indian tribes during the year covered by the report;

‘(2) describes actions taken during the year covered by the report to respond to recommendations made under subsection (b) during the year or a previous year; and

‘(3) describes how the Attorney General will work in coordination and collaboration with Indian tribes, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Secretary of the Interior to address the recommendations made under subsection (b).

‘(d) Notice- Not later than 120 days before the date of a consultation under subsection (a), the Attorney General shall notify tribal leaders of the date, time, and location of the consultation.’.

SEC. 904. TRIBAL JURISDICTION OVER CRIMES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

Title II of Public Law 90-284 (25 U.S.C. 1301 et seq.) (commonly known as the ‘Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968’) is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘SEC. 204. TRIBAL JURISDICTION OVER CRIMES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

‘(a) Definitions- In this section:

‘(1) DATING VIOLENCE- The term ‘dating violence’ means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim, as determined by the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

‘(2) DOMESTIC VIOLENCE- The term ‘domestic violence’ means violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic- or family- violence laws of an Indian tribe that has jurisdiction over the Indian country where the violence occurs.

‘(3) INDIAN COUNTRY- The term ‘Indian country’ has the meaning given the term in section 1151 of title 18, United States Code.

‘(4) PARTICIPATING TRIBE- The term ‘participating tribe’ means an Indian tribe that elects to exercise special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction over the Indian country of that Indian tribe.

‘(5) PROTECTION ORDER- The term ‘protection order’–

‘(A) means any injunction, restraining order, or other order issued by a civil or criminal court for the purpose of preventing violent or threatening acts or harassment against, sexual violence against, contact or communication with, or physical proximity to, another person; and

‘(B) includes any temporary or final order issued by a civil or criminal court, whether obtained by filing an independent action or as a pendent lite order in another proceeding, if the civil or criminal order was issued in response to a complaint, petition, or motion filed by or on behalf of a person seeking protection.

‘(6) SPECIAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRIMINAL JURISDICTION- The term ‘special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction’ means the criminal jurisdiction that a participating tribe may exercise under this section but could not otherwise exercise.

‘(7) SPOUSE OR INTIMATE PARTNER- The term ‘spouse or intimate partner’ has the meaning given the term in section 2266 of title 18, United States Code.

‘(b) Nature of the Criminal Jurisdiction-

‘(1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in addition to all powers of self-government recognized and affirmed by sections 201 and 203, the powers of self-government of a participating tribe include the inherent power of that tribe, which is hereby recognized and affirmed, to exercise special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction over all persons.

‘(2) CONCURRENT JURISDICTION- The exercise of special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction by a participating tribe shall be concurrent with the jurisdiction of the United States, of a State, or of both.

‘(3) APPLICABILITY- Nothing in this section–

‘(A) creates or eliminates any Federal or State criminal jurisdiction over Indian country; or

‘(B) affects the authority of the United States or any State government that has been delegated authority by the United States to investigate and prosecute a criminal violation in Indian country.

‘(4) EXCEPTIONS-

‘(A) VICTIM AND DEFENDANT ARE BOTH NON-INDIANS-

‘(i) IN GENERAL- A participating tribe may not exercise special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction over an alleged offense if neither the defendant nor the alleged victim is an Indian.

‘(ii) DEFINITION OF VICTIM- In this subparagraph and with respect to a criminal proceeding in which a participating tribe exercises special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction based on a violation of a protection order, the term ‘victim’ means a person specifically protected by a protection order that the defendant allegedly violated.

‘(B) DEFENDANT LACKS TIES TO THE INDIAN TRIBE- A participating tribe may exercise special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction over a defendant only if the defendant–

‘(i) resides in the Indian country of the participating tribe;

‘(ii) is employed in the Indian country of the participating tribe; or

‘(iii) is a spouse, intimate partner, or dating partner of–

‘(I) a member of the participating tribe; or

‘(II) an Indian who resides in the Indian country of the participating tribe.

‘(c) Criminal Conduct- A participating tribe may exercise special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction over a defendant for criminal conduct that falls into one or more of the following categories:

‘(1) DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND DATING VIOLENCE- An act of domestic violence or dating violence that occurs in the Indian country of the participating tribe.

‘(2) VIOLATIONS OF PROTECTION ORDERS- An act that–

‘(A) occurs in the Indian country of the participating tribe; and

‘(B) violates the portion of a protection order that–

‘(i) prohibits or provides protection against violent or threatening acts or harassment against, sexual violence against, contact or communication with, or physical proximity to, another person;

‘(ii) was issued against the defendant;

‘(iii) is enforceable by the participating tribe; and

‘(iv) is consistent with section 2265(b) of title 18, United States Code.

‘(d) Rights of Defendants- In a criminal proceeding in which a participating tribe exercises special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction, the participating tribe shall provide to the defendant–

‘(1) all applicable rights under this Act;

‘(2) if a term of imprisonment of any length may be imposed, all rights described in section 202(c);

‘(3) the right to a trial by an impartial jury that is drawn from sources that–

‘(A) reflect a fair cross section of the community; and

‘(B) do not systematically exclude any distinctive group in the community, including non-Indians; and

‘(4) all other rights whose protection is necessary under the Constitution of the United States in order for Congress to recognize and affirm the inherent power of the participating tribe to exercise special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction over the defendant.

‘(e) Petitions To Stay Detention-

‘(1) IN GENERAL- A person who has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in a court of the United States under section 203 may petition that court to stay further detention of that person by the participating tribe.

‘(2) GRANT OF STAY- A court shall grant a stay described in paragraph (1) if the court–

‘(A) finds that there is a substantial likelihood that the habeas corpus petition will be granted; and

‘(B) after giving each alleged victim in the matter an opportunity to be heard, finds by clear and convincing evidence that under conditions imposed by the court, the petitioner is not likely to flee or pose a danger to any person or the community if released.

‘(3) NOTICE- An Indian tribe that has ordered the detention of any person has a duty to timely notify such person of his rights and privileges under this subsection and under section 203.

‘(f) Grants to Tribal Governments- The Attorney General may award grants to the governments of Indian tribes (or to authorized designees of those governments)–

‘(1) to strengthen tribal criminal justice systems to assist Indian tribes in exercising special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction, including–

‘(A) law enforcement (including the capacity of law enforcement or court personnel to enter information into and obtain information from national crime information databases);

‘(B) prosecution;

‘(C) trial and appellate courts;

‘(D) probation systems;

‘(E) detention and correctional facilities;

‘(F) alternative rehabilitation centers;

‘(G) culturally appropriate services and assistance for victims and their families; and

‘(H) criminal codes and rules of criminal procedure, appellate procedure, and evidence;

‘(2) to provide indigent criminal defendants with the effective assistance of licensed defense counsel, at no cost to the defendant, in criminal proceedings in which a participating tribe prosecutes a crime of domestic violence or dating violence or a criminal violation of a protection order;

‘(3) to ensure that, in criminal proceedings in which a participating tribe exercises special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction, jurors are summoned, selected, and instructed in a manner consistent with all applicable requirements; and

‘(4) to accord victims of domestic violence, dating violence, and violations of protection orders rights that are similar to the rights of a crime victim described in section 3771(a) of title 18, United States Code, consistent with tribal law and custom.

‘(g) Supplement, Not Supplant- Amounts made available under this section shall supplement and not supplant any other Federal, State, tribal, or local government amounts made available to carry out activities described in this section.

‘(h) Authorization of Appropriations- There are authorized to be appropriated $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2014 through 2018 to carry out subsection (f) and to provide training, technical assistance, data collection, and evaluation of the criminal justice systems of participating tribes.’.

SEC. 905. TRIBAL PROTECTION ORDERS.

Section 2265 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking subsection (e) and inserting the following:

‘(e) Tribal Court Jurisdiction- For purposes of this section, a court of an Indian tribe shall have full civil jurisdiction to issue and enforce protection orders involving any person, including the authority to enforce any orders through civil contempt proceedings, to exclude violators from Indian land, and to use other appropriate mechanisms, in matters arising anywhere in the Indian country of the Indian tribe (as defined in section 1151) or otherwise within the authority of the Indian tribe.’.

SEC. 906. AMENDMENTS TO THE FEDERAL ASSAULT STATUTE.

(a) In General- Section 113 of title 18, United States Code, is amended–

(1) in subsection (a)–

(A) by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following:

‘(1) Assault with intent to commit murder or a violation of section 2241 or 2242, by a fine under this title, imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or both.’;

(B) in paragraph (2), by striking ‘felony under chapter 109A’ and inserting ‘violation of section 2241 or 2242’;

(C) in paragraph (3) by striking ‘and without just cause or excuse,’;

(D) in paragraph (4), by striking ‘six months’ and inserting ‘1 year’;

(E) in paragraph (7)–

(i) by striking ‘substantial bodily injury to an individual who has not attained the age of 16 years’ and inserting ‘substantial bodily injury to a spouse or intimate partner, a dating partner, or an individual who has not attained the age of 16 years’; and

(ii) by striking ‘fine’ and inserting ‘a fine’; and

(F) by adding at the end the following:

‘(8) Assault of a spouse, intimate partner, or dating partner by strangling, suffocating, or attempting to strangle or suffocate, by a fine under this title, imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both.’; and

(2) in subsection (b)–

(A) by striking ‘(b) As used in this subsection–’ and inserting the following:

‘(b) Definitions- In this section–’;

(B) in paragraph (1)(B), by striking ‘and’ at the end;

(C) in paragraph (2), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and

(D) by adding at the end the following:

‘(3) the terms ‘dating partner’ and ‘spouse or intimate partner’ have the meanings given those terms in section 2266;

‘(4) the term ‘strangling’ means intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of a person by applying pressure to the throat or neck, regardless of whether that conduct results in any visible injury or whether there is any intent to kill or protractedly injure the victim; and

‘(5) the term ‘suffocating’ means intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing of a person by covering the mouth of the person, the nose of the person, or both, regardless of whether that conduct results in any visible injury or whether there is any intent to kill or protractedly injure the victim.’.

(b) Indian Major Crimes- Section 1153(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking ‘assault with intent to commit murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault resulting in serious bodily injury (as defined in section 1365 of this title)’ and inserting ‘a felony assault under section 113’.

(c) Repeat Offenders- Section 2265A(b)(1)(B) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting ‘or tribal’ after ‘State’.

SEC. 907. ANALYSIS AND RESEARCH ON VIOLENCE AGAINST INDIAN WOMEN.

(a) In General- Section 904(a) of the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 3796gg-10 note) is amended–

(1) in paragraph (1)–

(A) by striking ‘The National’ and inserting ‘Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, the National’; and

(B) by inserting ‘and in Native villages (as defined in section 3 of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1602))’ before the period at the end;

(2) in paragraph (2)(A)–

(A) in clause (iv), by striking ‘and’ at the end;

(B) in clause (v), by striking the period at the end and inserting ‘; and’; and

(C) by adding at the end the following:

‘(vi) sex trafficking.’;

(3) in paragraph (4), by striking ‘this Act’ and inserting ‘the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013’; and

(4) in paragraph (5), by striking ‘this section $1,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2007 and 2008’ and inserting ‘this subsection $1,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2014 and 2015’.

(b) Authorization of Appropriations- Section 905(b)(2) of the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (28 U.S.C. 534 note) is amended by striking ‘fiscal years 2007 through 2011’ and inserting ‘fiscal years 2014 through 2018’.

SEC. 908. EFFECTIVE DATES; PILOT PROJECT.

(a) General Effective Date- Except as provided in section 4 and subsection (b) of this section, the amendments made by this title shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act.

(b) Effective Date for Special Domestic-violence Criminal Jurisdiction-

(b) Effective Date for Special Domestic-violence Criminal Jurisdiction-

(1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (2), subsections (b) through (d) of section 204 of Public Law 90-284 (as added by section 904) shall take effect on the date that is 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act.

(2) PILOT PROJECT-

(A) IN GENERAL- At any time during the 2-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, an Indian tribe may ask the Attorney General to designate the tribe as a participating tribe under section 204(a) of Public Law 90-284 on an accelerated basis.

(B) PROCEDURE- The Attorney General may grant a request under subparagraph (A) after coordinating with the Secretary of the Interior, consulting with affected Indian tribes, and concluding that the criminal justice system of the requesting tribe has adequate safeguards in place to protect defendants’ rights, consistent with section 204 of Public Law 90-284.

(C) EFFECTIVE DATES FOR PILOT PROJECTS- An Indian tribe designated as a participating tribe under this paragraph may commence exercising special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction pursuant to subsections (b) through (d) of section 204 of Public Law 90-284 on a date established by the Attorney General, after consultation with that Indian tribe, but in no event later than the date that is 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 909. INDIAN LAW AND ORDER COMMISSION; REPORT ON THE ALASKA RURAL JUSTICE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMISSION.

(a) In General- Section 15(f) of the Indian Law Enforcement Reform Act (25 U.S.C. 2812(f)) is amended by striking ‘2 years’ and inserting ‘3 years’.

(b) Report- The Attorney General, in consultation with the Attorney General of the State of Alaska, the Commissioner of Public Safety of the State of Alaska, the Alaska Federation of Natives and Federally recognized Indian tribes in the State of Alaska, shall report to Congress not later than one year after enactment of this Act with respect to whether the Alaska Rural Justice and Law Enforcement Commission established under Section 112(a)(1) of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004 should be continued and appropriations authorized for the continued work of the commission. The report may contain recommendations for legislation with respect to the scope of work and composition of the commission.

SEC. 910. SPECIAL RULE FOR THE STATE OF ALASKA.

(a) Expanded Jurisdiction- In the State of Alaska, the amendments made by sections 904 and 905 shall only apply to the Indian country (as defined in section 1151 of title 18, United States Code) of the Metlakatla Indian Community, Annette Island Reserve.

(b) Retained Jurisdiction- The jurisdiction and authority of each Indian tribe in the State of Alaska under section 2265(e) of title 18, United States Code (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act)–

(1) shall remain in full force and effect; and

(2) are not limited or diminished by this Act or any amendment made by this Act.

(c) Savings Provision- Nothing in this Act or an amendment made by this Act limits or diminishes the jurisdiction of the State of Alaska, any subdivision of the State of Alaska, or any Indian tribe in the State of Alaska.

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The link above is to  GovTrack.us

I love that site!

THOMAS  is always available as well but I get lost there. Often.

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I apologize for the long quiet. My Dad passed recently. Getting used to a world without him in it has been taking some work. I have to sit down and catch my breath pretty often .

VAWA 2013 – Part 1

March 17, 2013

When the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 passed out of Congress , headed for the President’s signature, early this month I was relieved, excited, and saddened all at once.

As a nation of laws, we must work to write and pass decent law, and enforce it on and for ourselves. This one contains  the promise  of trying to deal with problems faced by especially vulnerable groups of women and I am happy about the progress in thought and action. I hope  we can actually accomplish some of the goals we have set with this law.

It is very messy however when it comes to Alaska and I’ve been trying to figure some of it out and see where it leaves us here. There have been a number of news articles and editorials , each of which sends me off thinking and looking at different angles and points of view. I haven’t been able to figure out where to start to share anything until now.

I’ve  decided I’m going to start  with  my Grammy.

————————————————

I loved my maternal grandmother to pieces. She had a wicked sense of humor and a huge heart.  She answered all my kidly questions, my hundreds, thousands, bazillions of questions with patience and detail.

At 4’9″ , she was the first (and almost only) adult I passed  in height as a young teen. I didn’t get to stand next to her and show off as we were then living far from each other. We wrote each other regularly . I loved her stories of home and garden and family and looked forward to hearing from her .

She had a minor surgery right around her 70th birthday. An infection set in and things got very bad, very fast. She passed before almost anyone in the family could get back home to be with her, to see her.

My little packet of letters, a few photos, and a piece of beadwork  were almost all I had of her for years and years after she was gone . Somewhere along the way my mother and my aunties started adding  pieces of her larger story to what little I knew.

3-16-2013 6;11;48 PM

I knew Grammy’s early  life paralleled that of many Alaska Native children of her time – separated from her family, sent away to a mission school, the combination  leading to a disconnect from home, language , and culture  which made her an outsider at some level, no matter where she was, for the rest of her life.

I knew she lived with overt  racism. That  story has been told over and over by so many people  so many times that  not much of anyone listens anymore but it was real and it was awful. Grammy had  ways of dealing with it that mostly kept her on an even keel but it surely rankled.

What I didn’t know was that Grammy was attacked and raped by a white man  who suffered no consequences. None.  Nary a one.

She was  a recent widow in her mid 40s , trying to care for the 4 kids still at home and hang onto the property she and Grandpa had homesteaded and should have been a sympathetic figure  by almost any measure in that place and time.

However, law enforcement was  uninterested in pursuing the case because she was Native and so somehow or other the attack was her fault. The man who assaulted her told people all around town what he had done and laughed. Laughed. No one stopped him . No one.

Well. Shit.

(Excuse me but that was  the most mannerly of the  responses I had  to it all when I pieced  this story together from conversations with multiple sources.)

Grammy went through a very dark few years after that and I could probably do the strength-of-the-human-spirit-prevails routine to describe her climb out of a resulting problem with alcohol and let it go at that but I don’t want to  . Grammy may have been able to heal herself and work to undo the damage to her children but she should not have had to do so by herself. And many, many couldn’t and don’t manage to do what she did.

Also, I think we have stood in our own way, far too often, in this country telling barely camouflaged awesome-pulled-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps stories to ourselves. We focus on individual triumphs/failures  whilst ignoring the world surrounding the individual.

I think the larger community has a responsibility to protect the health and safety of its members, all of its members,  to exact redress from those who harm others,  and to soothe those harmed – for all of us. It is an essential part of why we organize ourselves as groups.

Violence against women , from strangers , family members, or intimates  is a class of violence we have had a terrible time dealing with.

We know a lot more now than in Grammy’s time  about the emotional damage rape and domestic violence do to all who are exposed to it, directly and indirectly .

We know it costs big bucks too- really big bucks.

The Advocates for Human Rights  pulled together multiple studies  here which point to the economic costs of domestic violence alone, across the world.

Community Costs of Domestic Violence

“Recognizing the pervasive nature of the problem, researchers increasingly have begun to examine the economic effects of domestic violence, both in terms of financial costs to victims as well as the broader impact on national economies. Studies conducted in several different countries have attempted to quantify the aggregate economic costs of domestic violence, and the results are staggering.[6] A 2003 study by the CDC estimated that domestic violence cost the U.S. economy more than $5.8 billion in a single year.[7] Other studies have estimated the annual costs of domestic violence in the United States to be as high as $12.6 billion.[8] A study in the United Kingdom, which quantified pain and suffering costs as well as the costs of services used by victims and the reduction in economic output due to domestic abuse, concluded that domestic violence costs individuals, the state, and businesses £23 billion per year.[9] Studies in Australia and Canada have estimated the annual costs of domestic violence (and sexual assault, in the case of the Canadian study) at A$8.1 billion and CAN$4.2 billion, respectively.[10] Comparison with other spending metrics underscores the magnitude of these costs. For example, a conservative estimate determined that domestic violence costs New Zealand nearly as much as that nation spends on unemployment benefits each year – approximately NZ$1.2 billion. These studies reveal that the costs of domestic violence measure well into the billions.”

As I worked my way through events and opinions about the passage of VAWA 2013 I’ve decided I’m not sure we are ready to put a lot of what we know to good use. Yet.

I am hoping we can have a conversation here . A peculiarly and specifically Alaska oriented conversation.

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Dearest Grammy,

It’s a lot harder to figure stuff out without you here to answer my questions but I’m working on it.

I loved you so.

Your Pi

The Long Quiet Here…

July 17, 2012

has nothing to do with intent and everything to do with the way-too-much-to-do-in-such-a-short-time aspect of Alaskan summers.

We’re working on catch up posts.

See you soon!

Bristol Bay

Garden Notes From a Neighbor…

April 25, 2012

With fewer than  723,000 people spread over its roughly 586,000 square miles,  Alaska is the least densely populated state in the United States. However,  almost 388,000 folks live  in the Anchorage/MatSu region   , so most of the state has considerably fewer than the 1.2-1.3 persons/square mile so often quoted. 

We  think of ourselves as neighbors,  however far flung we are, and the internet has made visiting with  each other regularly a delightful reality not possible  before the advent of the “tubes” due to distance and dollars. When  weather and electricity cooperate, email allows for daily visits . Blogs by Alaskan neighbors expand the visiting  further and have become a wonderful way to peek in on projects , join conversations, and keep up with each other.

One of our favorite Alaskan blogs is Nasugraq Rainey Hopson’s Stop and Smell the Lichen .  Rainey lives in Anaktuvuk Pass , a village in the North Slope Borough, north of the Arctic Circle.

 Rainey’s art and blog reflect her love of her home and community. These works of her hands and mind are as meaningful as her home place is beautiful. It is always a pleasure to find a new post on her site , whatever the subject is!

Rainey plans  to learn  how to grow vegetables in her far north home . She has agreed to share her 1st year gardening adventure here with us at Anonymous Bloggers.

I asked her if she had “before” pictures of the to-be garden space  we could share here but, as it is apparently still buried in snow  , we’ll have to wait for “before” until “after”… :-)

Thank you for sharing, Rainey!

An Arctic vegetable garden….the details of stage one.

by Nasugraq Rainey Hopson

A while back I had a reader ask me if I was really going to be able to plant a garden here.  The answer is yes!Of course living where I am living poses some pretty big obstacles,  which meant that I did a lot of research and planning and general milling about in anxiety.  I thought I would share the beginning of this journey! 

Location.  The garden will be located behind our house.  I did find out that there was an elder that grew a  small vegetable garden here but she did it far out of town, to avoid the dust and exhaust.  We decided to use our back yard, which is protected by several buildings, some dense tall willows, and the luck of being shielded from the road by some neat tricks of the wind.  Since we have dried meat there we know that it gets good air circulation, sunlight galore, with very little contamination, which is a must.  Plus it will be closer to monitor and work on!

Cold.  The cold is probably the biggest barrier.  The permafrost layer is not far beneath our feet, and this chills the earth so much that it will prevent or hamper most vegetable plants from growing.  So I will be using above ground warming techniques.  My husband is building several raised beds from wood, in which I will fill with soil from a fertile spot away from town that I know has escaped being contaminated by human beings.  The beds will be taller than what you usually see in most areas, at least a foot high, and long and slim rather than more of a squarish bed.  Having the earth exposed to the warmer air temperatures will keep them warmer.  I also plan to use an army of plastic buckets and bins for the plants that can tolerate being in a container, this will give me the option of moving them inside to a more protected area (in the arctic we call this part of our homes the ‘kunnichuck’ or ‘vestibule’ in English.)  Since I plan to have a few water loving plants I am going to try and build a few self watering buckets.  I will also be using some plastic covers to warm the beds before planting and while the seedling are germinating, once they sprout then I will remove the covers.  The cold at the beginning and end of the season will be the problem, but in the summer the temperatures usually get to 80-90 degrees.  The date for the last frost here is June 1st, which gives you an idea of how cold it gets and how short the season is! 

Sun.  Believe it or not the 24 hours a day sunlight will be a problem.  Here the growing season is a very SHORT. And most of that season will include the sun never setting.  This limits the types of plants that I can grow, though I plan to experiment with one: soybean. Soybeans require nighttime, and I have researched several techniques that I am going to try and trick them into thinking it’s night time.  Hopefully if it works I can get a good harvest and start creating a plant that will do well here, I am starting with two types of soybean, one of which is a short season plant.  My husband, like so many Natives, is lactose intolerant so a ‘milk’ source for him would save us a ton of money.  The never setting sun will also make it so that we are watering more than usual. 

Plants.  This was probably the area I spent the most time.  Some of the plants I have chosen are known to do well here.  Some are just experiments. But I seriously think that people should warn you of the incredible urge to BUY.  I seriously think I over bought seed …but it was FUN.  Such an addicting FUN.  I did set myself a basic rule though: buy only heirloom seed, and buy a couple of really good seed saving guide books…so hopefully next year the seed buying spree will not be as …big.  I bought seed from several areas: Denali seed company (specializes in Alaska friendly plants), Etsy (some amazing varieties in there!), and a few here and there from more well know large online companies (if I couldn’t find the variety I was looking for at the first two places).  I  also bought a soil tester kit, a couple of good fertilizers, some seed starting kits and soil, silica gel packets, and some very cheap growing light bulbs (cause I found I can’t afford actual grow lights!).  So what seed did I get?  The list is embarrassingly huge, so I’ll try and be brief. 

Hulless Oats – I love oats and will be buying a ‘roller’ later in the season to make rolled oats to use for food and for my products I sell.  This plant will act as a barrier between plants that might try and cross pollinate.  It will also work to condition the soil, as I will be rotating this crop every year. 

Peas – I have two types: Green arrow and dwarf grey sugar. 

Cabbage – every Alaskan veggie garden has cabbage!  They love sunlight.  I also love kimchi and cabbage soup.

Calendula – works to help keep your garden pest free and I will use the petals in my products.

Onion and chives – evergreen bunching and Alaska loving chives.  Pretty much use onion in every meal. 

Sunflowers – cause OMG you can grow these here!

Spinach – Bloomsdale long standing – got these as a free packet so I will give then a try even though they bolt early in the Alaska sun. Hoping I can get a couple of quiches at least!

Leaf lettuce – grand rapids variety – Probably the plant I will love the most, getting a good salad here is a rare treat and much loved!

Winter squash – gold nugget – I am a bit afraid of squash in general but I thought I would give it a try.  I know I like eating them. 

Radish – oddly enough we love this in some seal oil. 

Herbs – i love cooking.  Love it.  I will be growing Cilantro, Sage, Basil, and Rosemary.  I will have to figure out how much I will actually use in the year and what space they will take to get a feel for this area.

Round carrots – a short cute carrot that I know will go well in seal oil and also the nephews will LOVE.

Peppers – hungarian sweet wax- seems to me that this plant will need to be babied but I want to see how well it will do!

Soybean – Butterbean and edible early hakucho – or experiment one and experiment two as I like to call them

Tomatoes – i fell in love with the idea of tomatoes.  Which is probably why I ended up with so many.  I bought ‘spoon’ tomatoes, which have a shortish season.  One called ‘early wonder’ which is also short season, and I received a free packet of a random variety which the seller told me contains several Russian and Siberian varieties. Who can say no to tomatoes?

Sweet corn – well I said to only buy heirloom but when I ran into this variety my curiosity wrestled me to the ground and put me in a headlock.  This variety is called ‘Trinity hybrid’ (sounds scary I know) and is a short season and short stature corn (it will grow only about 4-5 feet tall).  I am only going to try and plants one small bed with it to see how it does. 

Echinacea – Pretty, and extremely useful. 

Potatoes – cause it’s Alaska.  My husband is going to design a series of boxes that I can stack on top of each other to make a ‘potato’ box, to get the most yield out of them.  

So that’s the list!  I seriously think they should have a Seed Buyers Anonymous, because it took me a while to shake that seed buying fever.  I have every inch of my backyard planned out, and I plan to use some vertical space for my herbs.  So far I have mapped out my lay out, and started the tomato, peppers, and Echinacea.  They are pretty little plants sitting next to me here in my lab/office, under the cool light of a full spectrum light bulb.  The stevia did not germinate and I’m thinking it is because I could not get the soil warm enough.  Next year I will give it another try.  Next week I will be transplanting the seedlings to a larger peat pot as they have almost completely taken over the little peat pellet thingies.  At the end of this month I will be starting the Squash.  I have started keeping a journal for my garden and have kept good notes on what I am doing, because I plan to do this every year and I know it will pretty much be a ‘learning’ year for me.  I told my husband that I expected at least half of our plants to not do very well, he frowned a bit and told me that he will be helping too, which pretty much upped the percentage to at least 80%.  Out of the two of us he has the greenest finger whereas I rely on luck!

Hope this finds all of you warming up in the spring weather! 

 
 
 

Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder

April 23, 2012

Who are those guys?!

Worms!

Quite some time ago here at Anonymous Bloggers, we tried to start a conversation about worms. I would love to revive that conversation and would hope people can bring more ideas and information we can look at.

Composting is tough for me for a number of reasons. Tiny garden space, bears, trying to keep it all hot enough during the cold months, bears…

Some small success with in-season composting keeps me trying, but I have been bummed about how much kitchen stuff is just flat wasted through the winter.

Aren't they beautiful?

Late last summer I was given a “Worm Farm” by someone who was leaving Alaska for retirement near family Outside. She sent hubby on ahead by air to scout for a home, loaded up her rig, her dogs, and dropped off her worm buddies with a few instructions about care and feeding at my place on her way to the ferry.

The homemade worm bin allows liquids to drop into the bottom container, has a lid, and the nested containers fit quite nicely in my front coat closet.

The lil boogers, red wigglers, settled in quite nicely and busily worked their way through everything I gave them through the winter.

Recently I realized it was time to harvest the compost.

That got interesting as I also realized I had not asked enough questions of my departing neighbor and didn’t know anyone with a worm bin. (I’ve since met someone who is just starting out.)

I looked round the “tubes” and found a number of descriptions of how to separate the worms from the compost depending on one’s set up.

Given the size of my container the “manual harvest” was the only real option as mine doesn’t have room to pile old stuff to one side and encourage the worms to migrate to fresh bedding and food.

Holy moley and sweet merry!

What a mess I made!

I did not take any pictures of that project for fear of ruining my camera.

In the end I had lovely compost, happy worms, and need of a shower.

I have written myself a note for next time to lay the plastic out in the bed of my truck to discourage all the neighborhood dogs who showed up to “help”.

We would love to hear from any of you who have worm composted, in or out-of-doors, and any tips you have would be much appreciated.

For folks who are interested in trying out a kitchen waste bin, this HOW TO is pretty good.

I imagine Alaskans will still have a bit of a go, in most places, in getting worms and wonder if anyone knows the best way to go about that, in hopes the wormies make it here safely, unlike our neighbor in the original post here who had his go missing along with his luggage!

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UgaVic and I are excited that one of our favorite Alaskan bloggers has agreed to share her garden experience from above the Arctic Circle  with us this season. Look for our guest blogger soon!

Too Early For Spring Fever…

February 20, 2012

It’s been a wild winter for much of Alaska. Extreme cold, oodles of snow, warm interludes, high winds – lots of normal winter type weather, only squared or tripled.

The latest warm spell in my area has pushed me right past cabin fever into spring fever.

To quiet it some, I’ve been looking at garden notes from last year. My notes always start out great and as the season wears on get more and more scant and peppered with remarks and abbreviations I can’t understand this far away from events.  “NO!” scribbled on empty seed packets usually means whatever it was was not a success , but who knows what “ftt” or “snf” or “fgqh” mean now?! Once again, I’m promising myself I’ll make a list of terms and abbreviations… sigh… and know that I’ll probably forget by July.

The one section of notes which is easy to understand is “Potatoes”.

I tried something different last year and it was so successful I’m doing it again.

7 Ways to Plant Potatoes article I found outlined a number of methods and the author’s notes about what did and didn’t work and their notions of whys and hows of each result.

My criteria for choosing the wire cylinder method included suited-to-my-climate, cost in dollars and hours of work, and space needed in an already overcrowded garden.

Suited to my climate:

I wanted a method which drains well.

Southeast Alaska is just plain tough in a lot of ways. Summers are cool and wet and cloudy for the most part.

The last half of April, and May and June tend to be the driest months here. July and August are wet, averaging 4.5+ and 6.0+ inches respectively, but often exceeding those averages, in recent years, by as much as triple rainfall amounts. Gardens which start beautifully early on can simply melt or rot by late July or early August.

Native soils don’t help much with the rot thingy in many parts of my area as we are, in many places, mostly glacial till or flour (powdered rock dust) left behind by retreating glaciers. It packs almost as tight as clay soils do if it is not amended heavily.

I wanted a method which didn’t cost much to put in place and didn’t take a lot of time to manage through the growing season.

I wanted a method which would make maximum use of space as I’ve stuffed the small area I have very full but am always looking to expand what I can grow.

Potatoes do ok here in containers but most are expensive. After the last of the barrel type I used for years bit the dust I liked the inexpensive hardware cloth and zip-tie container idea!

My cylinders were almost 30 inches in diameter, much more than the 18 inches the article author made. I put leftover pieces of weed cloth in the bottom in anticipation of what heavy late summer rains might do in terms of washout in my larger cylinder. Given we had 12.91 inches in August, 15.06 inches in September, and 12.63 inches in October, I’m glad I did and will do so again!

The sticks are to keep curious ravens out – they sometimes dig around in or dig up fresh plantings. I’m not sure what is going on in their birdly brains when they do that but I try to discourage them, whatever it is that they are doing.

I used peat to fill up around the plants as they grew as it is readily available here.

This ended up being an almost no-maintenance way to grow spuds for me. The darn plants got to be almost 5 feet tall and worried me some that too much energy was going to above ground greens.

Harvest? Just yank the cylinder off!

The yield in the end was very high and very good quality so I guess they were just happy spud plants in all ways!

For Alaskan gardeners, here’s a list of certified seed potato sources here in Alaska, along with a list of all the mouth-watering varieties available. If I have to have spring fever, you do too!! 

My order is ready to go. Yours?