Defining Sexual Assault in Indian Country
When a rape occurs in Indian Country, the law enforcement response could include tribal police, state or local law enforcement, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the FBI. In some cases, the difficulty of determining criminal jurisdiction, particularly when there are concurrent jurisdictions, translates into blurred jurisdictional boundaries, untimely action, or, worse still, no action at all. To this end, federal and state jurisdictions must understand the importance of working collaboratively with tribal jurisdictions. Most importantly, non-native organizations and governmental agencies must continue to recognize, affirm, and support Indian nations' inherent sovereignty and authority to prosecute American Indian perpetrators of sexual assault.
Tribal Court Clearinghouse Knowledgeable about tribal law and culturally relevant issues, including the training of personnel handling sexual assault crimes and the development of policies and materials specific to each tribe's language, values, customs, and traditions.
For specific tribal codes, check the Tribal Court Clearinghouse Web site.