Room Number: TBA!
Since the first Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) annual consultation held in 2006, the NCAI Task Force each year has organized a briefing for tribal leaders. This briefing, typically held the night before the consultation, provides tribal leaders and representatives an opportunity to come together to review and discuss key concerns and recommendations of Indian nations for presentation to the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS). This year’s consultation is particularly important given the upcoming transition that will take place from the Obama-Biden administration to the Trump-Pence administration.
The VAWA 2005 mandates that the USDOJ and USDHHS consult annually with Indian nations on issues concerning the safety of Indian women. It requires that these Departments solicit from Indian tribes recommendations concerning three specific areas:
- Administering tribal funds and programs;
- Enhancing the safety of Indian women from domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking; and,
- Strengthening the federal response to such violent crimes.
An annual consultation on legal and policy issues on the highest level between the United States and Indian nations as governments was deemed an essential safeguard to the successful implementation of VAWA. The historic VAWA 2013 amendments confirm that inclusion of a separate annual consultation with Indian tribes on safety for Native women is critically important to successful implementation of VAWA. This nation-to-nation dialogue provides tribal governments and the United States an avenue to examine, discuss and address important matters that impact at the broadest level the safety of Indian women.
The VAWA 2013 tribal amendments are the result of concerns raised since 2006 during the consultation process. Over the last 11 years, tribal leaders have engaged the USDOJ leadership in dialogue on serious roadblocks to the safety of Native women and raised related issues impacting Indian tribes’ ability to protect women.
We encourage and welcome tribal leaders, representatives and everyone working to stop violence against Native women to attend and participate in this important briefing!