Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 30

FEATURE

Elusive
Justice
IN VIOLENCE AGAINST NATIVE WOMEN
I'm still here " is a
phrase repeated
by several characters in Mary Kathryn Nagle's play
" Sliver of a Full Moon. " Nagle, a
citizen of the Cherokee Nation
of Oklahoma and partner at
Pipestem & Nagle, P.C., wrote the
play following the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against
Women Act (VAWA), which
included new protections for
Native American women who
suffer domestic abuse at the
hands of non-Natives.

Getty Images/RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post

By Jeremy Conrad

The VAWA and a pair of bills passed under the Trump administration
have begun to close a nearly half-century-old jurisdictional hole created
by the U.S. Supreme Court into which many criminal investigations have
fallen. However, it remains to be seen whether these developments,
along with the growing political prominence of Native American
women, will be enough to address the assaults on their sovereignty and
their bodies.
Native Americans, and especially Native American women, face an
epidemic of unpunished violent crime, though the scope of the problem
is difficult to assess. Statistics regarding violence against Native American
people are hard to source. Native American victims are not always accurately identified, and there is no central database to track violence
against them. While comprehensive data is lacking, there is enough to
determine that a serious problem exists. A 2018 Urban Indian Health
Institute report shows that the National Crime Information Center
reported more than 5,700 missing American Indian and Alaskan Native
women, while in the same period the Department of Justice's federal
missing persons database logged only 116 cases.

30 WASHINGTON LAWYER

*

MARCH/APRIL 2021

" A lot of states, counties, and cities do not record data when a Native
woman is murdered, " Nagle says. Tribes lack access to national criminal
databases, preventing effective reporting. Many deaths are improperly
characterized as suicide or by natural causes when they clearly are not,
Nagle says, and authorities often either neglect to record the ethnicity
of the victim or incorrectly report it as Latina or Caucasian.
Native American communities not only face difficulty gathering accurate
data about the threats their citizens face, but they are also effectively
prevented from prosecuting serious crimes committed in their communities, particularly when the perpetrator is non-Native. This is the result
of the erosion of Native American sovereignty by Congress and the U.S.
Supreme Court, according to advocates.

EROSION OF SOVEREIGN RIGHTS
Sarah Crawford, a Dakota tribal member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux
Tribe and attorney at Clause Law P.L.L.C., says that " one of the key aspects
of tribes is that of inherent sovereignty. Tribes have an inherent power to
govern themselves and govern their affairs. "



Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021

Digital Extras
From Our President
Calendar of Events
Practice Management
Toward Well-Being
Staying Put in Big Law feature
A Sisterhood of Latina Lawyers Sidebar
Increasing Diversity & Inclusion the the Legal Profession feature
Cultivate Mentorships sidebar
A Tribute to Judge June L. Green feature
Delicate Balance for Black Women Attorneys in Government Feature
Falling Short on Disability Inclusion feature
Elusive Justice in Violence Against Native Women feature
Worth Reading
On Further Review
The Learning Curve
Member Spotlight - Marcia Madsen
Member Spotlight - Simon Zinger
ABA Delegates Corner
Attorney Briefs
Speaking of Ethics
Disciplinary Summaries
The Pro Bono Effecy
A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 1
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 2
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 3
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 5
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Toward Well-Being
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Staying Put in Big Law feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 11
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - A Sisterhood of Latina Lawyers Sidebar
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 13
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Increasing Diversity & Inclusion the the Legal Profession feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 15
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Cultivate Mentorships sidebar
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 17
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - A Tribute to Judge June L. Green feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 19
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 20
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 21
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Delicate Balance for Black Women Attorneys in Government Feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 23
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 24
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 25
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Falling Short on Disability Inclusion feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 27
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 28
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 29
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Elusive Justice in Violence Against Native Women feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 31
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 32
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 34
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 35
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - The Learning Curve
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Member Spotlight - Marcia Madsen
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Member Spotlight - Simon Zinger
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 40
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 41
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - ABA Delegates Corner
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Speaking of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 45
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 47
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - The Pro Bono Effecy
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 49
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 50
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - 51
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2021 - Cover4
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