Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Native American Women Are Rape Targets Because of a Legislative Loophole


On December 7, 2015, the Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments for the Dollar General Corporation v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, a case occasioned by the sexual assault of a 13-year-old Dollar General employee by his employer. While the Supreme Court doesn't often hear sexual assault cases, this one has a twist: The victim is Native American, and the assailant is white. The Dollar General store sits on the Choctaw reservation, land considered Indian Country (the legal term used by the federal government) and the legal question is whether tribal courts here have the civil jurisdiction to try non-Native individuals who commit crimes there. Many Native people and their allies fear the Supreme Court's verdict could render tribal sovereignty even more precarious than it already is.


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