Column: Governor fails to improve safety in Native villages

Columnist takes Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (R) to task for failing to improve public safety in Native villages:
Last month, U.S. Indian Law and Order Commission Chairman Troy Eid came to Alaska and lambasted the governor and attorney general for their failure to protect women and children in Alaska. The state under Parnell seems to have boundless resources to file political lawsuits against the federal government and to fight local problem-solving in rural Alaska, but if you expect him to spend the money actually required to make a difference in these horrific statistics you haven't been paying attention.

Eid had this to say while in Anchorage: "There ought to be a recognition of tribal sovereignty as the force that will keep people safer -- and why not? It's what we do everywhere else in the United States. We recognize local people should be able to govern themselves, make their own decisions, that they should not be fighting with their states."

All Alaska women are at risk, but Alaska Native women are three and a half times more likely than the rest of us to be victims of sexual assault.

Ladies, think about that for a minute. (Then, please, think about it again in the voting booth.)

"According to the U.S. Department of Justice," Amnesty International reported, "in at least 86 percent of the reported cases of rape or sexual assault against American Indian and Alaska Native women, survivors report the perpetrators are non-Native men."

Sean Parnell has spent a lot of time on the public payroll, and he shows no interest in getting off of it. When it comes to parades and TV commercials, he's hell on wheels. But now, after six years of his gubernatorial leadership in the fight against sexual assault and domestic violence, what has he actually accomplished? You can't say he hasn't had time to make meaningful progress.

Get the Story:
Shannyn Moore: Governor's claim doesn't jibe with Alaska's rape rate (The Anchorage Daily News 1/5)

Indian Law and Order Commission Report:
A Roadmap For Making Native America Safer (November 2013)

Related Stories:
Indian Law and Order Commission pushes for reform in Alaska (12/5)

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