Law | Opinion

Opinion: Include Alaska in tribal jurisdiction provisions of VAWA

David Voluck, a judge for the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes. Photo from Lewis and Clark Law School

David Voluck, a judge for tribes in Alaska, calls on Congress to include Alaska Natives in S.47, the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. S.1474, the Alaska Safe Families and Villages Act, repeals Section 910, Special Rule for the State of Alaska:
Lastly, for the love of G-d, it is incumbent on all Alaskans to really choose respect and immediately call upon our lawmakers to repeal Section 910 of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, as this specific Alaska exception singles out Alaska Native women and families for disparate, unequal, and inferior protection of the law; an illogical result for the most vulnerable and distressed population in the entire United States.

Beyond the court rooms, halls of Congress, or the suits in Juneau, the buck must stop on our laps. To dig deep past the crud, and reclaim our families, in the time-honored tradition of blue tarps and duct tape if need be. The tribes I serve provide positive Indian parenting, healthy relationships, and fatherhood initiatives, support in the constant fight for sobriety, reclamation of traditional foods and spirit, and transformation of violence through cultural salve. And I think, how can it be that I don’t take more advantage of what is right next door in order to be the best father possible?

The paradigm shift starts now with each one of us; one by one we can transform Alaska into a world leader demonstrating how great cultures can meet and mutually enrich each other, bringing the great words to fruition that there will be peace in every home, and “nation will not raise sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”

Get the Story:
Judge David Voluck: Peace in the home and the tribal first response to violence (Alaska Dispatch 7/5)

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

Related Stories:
Opinion: Alaska already recognizes tribal court protection orders (06/30)
Troy Eid: Progress on improving public safety for Alaska Natives (6/23)
DOJ supports bill to include Alaska tribes in VAWA jurisdiction (06/12)
Alaska lawmakers weigh Indian Law and Order Commission report (4/9)
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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