Pascua Yaqui Tribe hosts Violence Against Women Act training

Tribal court and law enforcement staff in 2013. Photo from Pascua Yaqui Bar Association

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona is helping Indian Country implement the Violence Against Women Act.

The tribe was one of the first three in the nation to exercise jurisdiction over non-Indian offenders. Officials on the reservation shared their knowledge and experience at the first-ever VAWA Tribal Court Trial Advocacy Training, held in conjunction with the Bureau of Indian Affairs earlier this month.

"Today, tribal tribunals are as sophisticated as any municipal court in Arizona in terms of how they operate," Pascua Yaqui Attorney General Alfred Urbina told Indian Country Today. "There are a lot of tribes already doing a great job administering justice in different ways consistent with their community values.”

S.47, the 2013 law that reauthorized VAWA, recognizes the "inherent power" of tribes to arrest, prosecute and punish non-Indians for certain domestic violence offenses. But tribes must ensure their justice systems protect the rights of defendants in order to exercise their authority.

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Are Tribal Courts Developed Enough For VAWA? Pascua Yaqui Proves It (Indian Country Today 5/20)

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