Action Alert
April 23, 2012
A Critical Week for VAWA's Tribal Provisions 

S. 1925, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, has been filed as a "motion to proceed" in the Senate and is likely to be debated on the Senate floor this week.   There will likely be an alternative bill offered as a substitute, and perhaps other harmful amendments, so we want to make sure that S. 1925-the bill with key provisions that will enhance tribal sovereignty and protect Native victims-is the bill that passes.  


Over the next few days, we need to continue to arm our Senate champions with persuasive arguments and anecdotal information in support of the tribal provisions contained in Title IX of the bill.  If you are in New Mexico, Washington, or Minnesota, please help us in collecting victims' stories from those three states and submitting them to Senators Udall, Murray, and Franken as soon as possible!  These Senators are asking for personal stories from victims that they can share during the floor debate to remind their colleagues of the great need for the jurisdictional fixes contained in the bill. Also, please work directly with Senators from any and all states to prepare to vote in favor of and to make a statement in favor of the tribal amendments, and help prepare them with arguments and anecdotes. Please help us in collecting these stories and submit them to NCAI Staff Attorney, Katy Jackman, at right away!  Katy will then funnel them to the appropriate staffers within each office.

It has also come to our attention that Senator Kyl (R-AZ) may still seek to replace the tribal jurisdiction provisions of S.1925 with a provision that would allow states to take jurisdiction over domestic violence cases committed by non-Indians on tribal land.  It is absolutely critical that tribes voice their strong opposition to any such proposal.  We know from our experience with Public Law 280 that state criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country does not work.  Permitting states to assert jurisdiction over VAWA crimes in Indian Country not only seriously undermines tribal sovereignty, but it is an unfunded mandate on states who do not have the resources nor the desire to prosecute Indian Country cases.  Please call your Senators immediately and tell them you oppose any expansion of state jurisdiction on tribal lands. 


NCAI is also currently working with the Alaska delegation to clarify current bill language so that Section 905 of the bill protects the authority of tribal courts in Alaska.


Additionally, please take a moment to thank our supporters and tell them you are proud of their support of S. 1925 and, particularly, the tribal provisions that would enhance the safety of tribal communities and provide Native women with greater access to justice.

ACTION:  Call the below Senators and tell them "Thank you for sponsoring S. 1925 - the only bill that protects ALL victims of violence.  We appreciate that you will vote to keep the critical tribal provisions in the bill!"    


If you talk to staff, ask for their email so you can send them this tribal fact sheet .

Start with our valiant Republican sponsors - they are under pressure from all sides and need to know you appreciate their support:


Ayotte, Kelly - (R - NH) (202) 224-3324 Judiciary: John Lawrence, Women: Daniel Auger  


Brown, Scott P. - (R - MA) (202) 224-4543 


Collins, Susan M. - (R - ME) (202) 224-2523 Judiciary: Rich Houghton, Women: Kenneth Altman, Lorinda Harris  


Crapo, Mike - (R - ID) (202) 224-6142 


Heller, Dean - (R - NV) ) (202) 224-6244 Judiciary and Women's Issues LA: Leeann Gibson 


Kirk, Mark - (R - IL) (202) 224-2854 


Murkowski, Lisa - (R - AK) (202) 224-6665 Judiciary LA: Nathan Bergerbest, Women's Issues LA: Amanda Makki  


Snowe, Olympia J. - (R - ME) (202) 224-5344 Women's Issues LA: Amy Pellegrino 


Next, our Democratic women champions: 




Dianne Feinstein  D (202) 224-3841 Judiciary LA: Neil Quinter, Women's Issues: Nora Connors, Devin Rhinerson 


Barbara Boxer  D (202) 224-3553  Judiciary LA: Derrick Brent, Women's Issues LA: Cerin Lindgrensavage  




Mary Landrieu  D (202) 224-5824 CoS: Jane Campbell, Leg Dir: Elizabeth Craddock, Judiciary: Angelique Roche 




Barbara Mikulski  D (202) 224-4654 Judiciary and women's issues LA: Teri Curtis 




Debbie Stabenow  D (202) 224-4822 Judiciary LA: Jason LaGosh, Women's Issues LA: Alex Sheff 




Amy Klobuchar  D (202) 224-3244 Judiciary LA: Craig Kalkut, Women's Issues LA: Elizabeth Frosch  




Claire McCaskill  D (202) 224-6154  Judiciary and women's issues LA: Derron Parks 


New Hampshire 


Jeanne Shaheen  D (202) 224-2841 Judiciary LA: Emily Livingston, Women's issues: Alison MacDonald  


New York 


Kirsten Gillibrand  (202) 224-4451 Judiciary and women's issues LA: Michele Jawando 


North Carolina 


Kay Hagan  D (202) 224-6342 Judiciary and women's issues LA: Tracy Zvenyach 




Patty Murray  D (202) 224-2621 


Judiciary LA: Jason Park, Women's Issues LA: Paula Burg  


Maria Cantwell  D (202) 224-3441 


Judiciary and women's issues LA: Janel George 


And finally all the other wonderful sponsors: 


Leahy, Patrick J. - (D - VT)  


Akaka, Daniel K. - (D - HI)  


Baucus, Max - (D - MT)  


Begich, Mark - (D - AK)  


Bennet, Michael F. - (D - CO)  


Bingaman, Jeff - (D - NM)  


Blumenthal, Richard - (D - CT)  


Brown, Sherrod - (D - OH)  


Cardin, Benjamin L. - (D - MD)  


Carper, Thomas R. - (D - DE)  


Casey, Robert P., Jr. - (D - PA)  


Conrad, Kent - (D - ND)  


Coons, Christopher A. - (D - DE)  


Durbin, Richard J. - (D - IL)  


Franken, Al - (D - MN)  


Harkin, Tom - (D - IA)  


Inouye, Daniel K. - (D - HI)  


Johnson, Tim - (D - SD)  


Kerry, John F. - (D - MA)  


Kohl, Herb - (D - WI)  


Lautenberg, Frank R. - (D - NJ)  


Levin, Carl - (D - MI) 


Lieberman, Joseph I. - (ID - CT)  


Manchin, Joe, III - (D - WV)  


Menendez, Robert - (D - NJ) 


Merkley, Jeff - (D - OR)  


Nelson, Ben - (D - NE)  


Nelson, Bill - (D - FL)  


Pryor, Mark L. - (D - AR)  


Reed, Jack - (D - RI)  


Reid, Harry - (D-NV) 


Rockefeller, John - (D - WV)  


Sanders, Bernard - (I - VT)  


Schumer, Charles E. - (D - NY)  


Tester, Jon - (D - MT)  


Udall, Mark - (D - CO)  


Udall, Tom - (D - NM)  


Warner, Mark R. - (D - VA)  


Webb, Jim - (D - VA)  


Whitehouse, Sheldon - (D - RI)  


Wyden, Ron - (D - OR)   


Thank you for all the support!  We are getting close to making history-let's get this bill out of the Senate with the tribal provisions intact!



Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights.

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