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Alaska lawmakers weigh Indian Law and Order Commission report

House Community & Regional Affairs Committee Hearing: Hearing on Chapter 2 "Reforming Justice for Alaska Natives: The Time is Now" Indian Law & Order Commission Report "A Roadmap for Making Native America Safer."

The Alaska House House Community and Regional Affairs Committee held a second hearing into issues presented by the Indian Law and Order Commission.

The commission has called on the state to recognize tribal authority in order to address high rates of crime in Native village. Attorney General Michael Geraghty said he couldn't accept the idea.

"It is an over simplification to suggest that forming reservations where tribes can exert exclusive jurisdiction is a solution to the problems that afflict Alaska's Native peoples," Geraghty told the committee, The Anchorage Daily News reported.

Alaska is home to 229-federally recognized tribes. But their lands are not considered "Indian Country" except for one tribe in the southeast part of the state.

However, Troy Eid, a former U.S. Attorney who serves as chairman of the Indian Law and Order Commission, says the state can work with tribes and recognize Indian Country without creating "reservations," as that term is known in the Lower 48.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee is considering a bipartisan bill that would recognize tribal authority over non-Indian domestic violence offenders in Alaska. A hearing on S. 1474, the Alaska Safe Families and Villages Act, took place on April 2.

Get the Story:
Alaska AG criticizes suggestions in report on Bush justice (The Anchorage Daily News 4/9)

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

Troy Eid: Making Native America safer for a new generation (1/31)
Column: Governor fails to improve safety in Native villages (1/8)
Indian Law and Order Commission pushes for reform in Alaska (12/5)
APRN: Debate about law enforcement for Alaska Native villages (11/20)

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