Archive for the ‘bush alaska’ Category

Will We Have A Winter?

December 22, 2014

Usually a common sight in the winter.

Usually a common sight in the winter.


While so many parts of the lower 48 are having a colder than ‘normal’ winter most of Alaska has been basking in temperatures that resemble fall more than winter!

In Bristol Bay much of the area remains less than fully frozen, causing many to be watchful. Other areas of the state share many of the same concerns.

The winter activities so many of us not only enjoy but count on cannot happen with these many days above freezing temperatures. Our rivers are not fully frozen over, the creeks are dangerously open in many places and lakes still have only a thin coat of ice.

A river that should be mostly, if not totally, iced over this time of year.

A river that should be mostly, if not totally, iced over this time of year.

Travel to accomplish things like setting and checking winter trap lines, a source of income for some and hunting for winter meat are hampered. For those who do ice fishing, it is very dangerous without a nice thick layer of ice.

Being able to visit with others, important to so many in the winter, has been slowed to include the only more expensive methods, such as using an airline. If this keeps up many winter festivals will have to be rearranged and different activities thought of.

Without a nice layer of snow to insulate things the frost level will go deeper into the soil, causing more winter loss on such things as native berries, trees and of course all those beautiful peonies our state is becoming well known for.

Wildlife surveys that are accomplished during the winter months have been put on hold too, waiting for a good snow covering so tracking is easier.

While these warmer temperatures are nice in that we are not using up our winter budget as quickly on heating fuel, it does make most wonder if that will be offset by some really long, cold snap later this winter. The lack of wind, that often comes with winter weather, or even strong sun is cutting into the renewable energy output for some communities.

For those of us who either farm or garden it has allowed for more fresh winter produce to survive than might normally be possible. (this news has traveled around the state with much excitement!) Many of us are also seeing our chickens continue to lay eggs at a higher level, due to less feed needed to just stay warm.

Long term forecasts call for this weather pattern to continue into late summer of 2015. We could well move into still another summer of almost ‘hot’ weather, more forest fires, lots of bugs and winters that leave us wondering if this is going to be more the norm than not.

So for those in the Lower 48 that are dealing with still another winter of tough temperatures and travel conditions, know many are wishing the weather pattern would send the snow and icy temperatures north again!

A Wednesday Moment

September 10, 2014

mama chicken and babes 004

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

Wednesday’s Moment

February 19, 2014

DLG_trip_feb_2014 002

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

Wednesday’s Moment

January 29, 2014
Just a moment in time.

Just a moment in time.

Just a moment captured in time. No explanation…just to share!

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.

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.

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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.

——————————–

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

One Small Step At A Time

January 20, 2013

chicken_grazing_squares_build

The number of households that are keeping poultry has skyrocketed in the last 5 years. You hear all the time about cities changing their zoning and animal laws to allow for small numbers in a ‘backyard’ flock.

Zoning laws are seldom the reason chickens are not raised here in rural Alaska. Three issues affect our ability to raise chickens out here in Western Alaska: Getting the chicks out here alive in the first place, keeping predators at bay, and, of course, keeping them warm enough in the winter.

Most of us bring the chicks in via mail in the spring. You order weeks in advance and try to guess when the temperatures will be mild enough not to kill them off in transit.

It is most important that you  keep them at 90+ degrees for the first 3-5 weeks, as they feather out and can then regulate their body temperature.

Yes, heat lamps can help but I have found if the general room temperature is not at least 75 degrees they will just pile up on top of each other, under the heat lamps, to get warm and your losses will be huge.

When you run your household and business off as much as 70% renewable energy, wind in our case, loading on a few 250W  heat bulbs or a 1300-1500 W heat lamp the costs start to rise quickly, making the project less sustainable.

This year we decided to try something a little different, starting the process in the fall.

We got chicks the week before Thanksgiving, during one of the few weeks that had negative temperatures. The pilot on the mail plane was kind enough to make sure the box of babies was kept away from drafts, covered with a blanket and in the warmer area of the plane. As things went a couple, originally from Texas, that were on their way out of the area sat next to the box of chicks coming  IN from a Texas hatchery!!

They arrived quickly (less than 4 days) from the hatchery which greatly improves the chances of getting them off to a good start.

The first 2-3 days are the toughest so I have found if I keep them in a box or tub in our house, with a heat lamp or two, we can keep the rate of death to almost nothing. One small complication we found this time is that one of our (new at the time) kitties is a very determined hunter. Now the box or tub must have a screen or metal rack of some type over it at all times or we will find the count down and  stray feathers showing up here and there.

Into this adventure almost two months now, all seems to be working well. We have found  that our brooder, located in an outbuilding that has electricity but not heat,  works well down into the single digits for temperature. It is insulated between the concrete floor and bottom of the chicks, has some insulation on the top and sides and a couple of places for lights, heat or otherwise. We did not hook our 1500W infrared heater up this time and have not used the thermostat to turn off one of the heat lamps just yet.

Given our success this time we hope to use this same method through the summer and into the fall to try to raise more meat birds. They  are harder to raise than these replacement layers  but we are hopeful we can do it and have another source of meat.

There are number of other issues to consider -like figuring out alternative food sources for the frozen times of the year and housing so they can ‘free range’ once they are feathered out.

A chicken 'tractor' that allow poultry to be move around safely outside.

A chicken ‘tractor’ that allow poultry to be move around safely outside.

The possibilities for having local and ‘fresh’ sources of food seem to be possible, just working to figure out the details to make sure they are sustainable too!!

Things Have Been A’growing

October 26, 2012

Fresh tomatoes this summer at a Farmer’s Market

For those of you who have followed our efforts to address rural issues from the very beginning, you might remember the majority of us hoped we would be able to make a difference, not only in the short-term, but to help find some answers for the long-term, at least on some issues.

Sponsoring a food drive for the hungry year after year was not something we wanted to do. Although it was greatly needed and did help a number of families, and ALL of us will forever be thankful, we did not feel that being just another group with some form of a handout was what was wanted OR needed.

We feel the  great majority of people in these great United States prefer to earn their own way and to be as self-sufficient as they possibly can be. This might be contrary to the stereotype, but we have seen it too many times to believe the opposite.

(picture above is of a farmer field in Fairbanks. Amazing bounty and variety)

On that note it has been fantastic to see the food ‘movement’ from the lower 48 and around the world start to reach all the way up here and into the Arctic. A great variety of organizations and individuals have devoted a lot of time and energy to reach out, teach, encourage, offer forums, and other methods to spur all of the activity we have seen in the last 2-3 years towards growing at least a portion of our own food in the state.

Alaska has  always had a great dedicated group of people of all types here that   make their living by farming. What has been so rewarding in recent times to see  their continued interest and support in helping others learn the skills needed to grow food.

Through their industrious efforts they have formed the Alaska Community Agriculture Association which has the following as a mission:

The Alaska Community Agriculture Association is an organization of Alaskans growing crops and livestock for direct sale to the public. Its members are committed to promoting, supporting, and working towards healthy, sustainable local food systems. We want to encourage agricultural practices that benefit our environment, our communities, and our customers.

This offers both new, and established farmers, an organization to work together to gain wider markets, much-needed research, and a variety of other needs. This in turn makes available even more options for healthy, fresh, local foods.

Other efforts have brought about such things as the establishment of the Alaska Grower’s School, which focuses on rural Native, specifically Tanana, residents. However, it is open to all on a space-available basis. Classes are offered via a number of methods, from the Internet and conference calls to guest speakers and even study at your own pace, to help everyone from thevery beginner who wants to farm or garden to out-of-date farmers re-entering the industry. They do this over a course of 22 lessons, sharing great ideas and resources. All this is capped off, for those who complete the beginning, advanced class work and an essay, with a full week of hand-ons on a working farm in Fairbanks. You can follow them on Facebook if you are inclined.

There is now a strong Farm to School program in the State of Alaska. It is not as fully functional as some other states’ programs but it is still just a few years old. The program brings local farm products to our local schools across the state.

This helps our farmers or ‘producers’, (those who do grow food but do not feel they are a ‘regular’ farmer) and  our kids. The schoolchildren are introduced to products, often grown near their homes which they might otherwise be unfamiliar with.  The taste difference is noticeable and the kids are ‘getting’ that message.

This program is part of a larger national program and an important avenue to increase the nutritional value of the meals our kids get at school, for many the only well-balanced meal of the day.

It strengthens our economy not only on the statewide level but also in our more rural areas. As this effort grows many of us believe you will see foods being supplied from closer and closer sources to all of our schools. Opening up lands not typically thought of as ones suitable to grow foods, makes our state more sustainable but also helps the local villages and their boroughs.

(picture above, Bristol Bay Wild Salmon, huffington post supplied)

On the heels of the Farm to School program Alaska has now started a Fish to School program. This first began in a couple of different school districts back in 2009/2010 and has spread to more villages along our western coast line. Getting our local fish and seafood into the school lunch program is still another way of helping our kids get better meals while  also supporting the local businesses.

To help facilitate all of this Alaska also now has a Food Policy Council to assist with the growth of a sustainable food system in Alaska.  The council first began working together a couple of years ago to evaluate the present food ‘system’ in Alaska and how they might facilitate the growth and strengthening of it so as to assure ALL Alaskan’s access to healthy, affordable, and local foods.

This is an exciting time to share with you what we are learning and the impact the food movement is beginning to make in our state. (the work the council is doing can take up a number of posts on it own. We will fill you in on some of the happenings in the coming months)

Finally, Moving Back Inside!

October 23, 2012

Has it been since July that we last had a new post up? Unbelievable! You can tell most of us just can’t make ourselves sit in front of a computer when so much is happening to share it in as timely of a manner as we would wish.. If we could work out how to clone ourselves for that activity, we are open to suggestions!


As I am sure many of you have figured out when Alaskans get a chance to be outside, especially in the summer, we are!

Well the weather is getting colder, and the days shorter. Most of us have done the most critical things to prepare for the winter, now we are left with just some of the detail work to be completed.

Over the coming months, as things change pace, but seldom get really ‘slow’, we hope to catch you all up with some of the great things that have been happening across our great state.

Everything from fishery and by-catch issues to our Community Development Quota, CDQ, organizations reviews that are supposed to be coming, we have things to share.

Of the trips taken to learn new things so we can share with those around us. Lots of  updates on past discussions are coming.

Village and rural issues that deal with food security, in the widest of views….everything from availability of healthy food to preparing for emergencies. Of course we will have to share the updates on the food we have been growing and the efforts across the state in some of the most far-flung places to grow more of their own food.  From swamps to almost rock beds, you will be amazed.

Rural power issues are also on our radar, as well as some of the efforts being done by villages to make their villages sustainable in as many ways as possible.

As you well can tell by the lack of posts, we have not been sitting still or in front of our computers, so get ready!


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