President Barack Obama this morning signed into law the reauthorized Violence Against Women Act that includes tribal provisions.
“Previously, tribes had no jurisdiction over non-tribal members, even if they are married to Native women or reside on native lands. But as soon as I sign this bill, that ends,” Obama said before the signing.
“This is a landmark bill not only for all women and our future generations but also for Indian tribes. This law, for the first time since 1978, restores the sovereign power of Indian tribes to criminally prosecute non-Indians for sexual assault and domestic violence crimes on Indian reservations,” a statement released by The Seattle Human Rights Commission said.
The signing took place at a ceremony at the Interior Department and included longtime VAWA advocate and vice-chair of the Tulalip Tribes Deborah Parker along with Senators and House members.
Diane Millich, an American Indian domestic abuse survivor introduced Vice President Joe Biden following her personal story about abuse and what the passing of VAWA means to her.
The signing can be seen on C-Span here.
More to come.