Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

The Impact of Violence in Indian Country

Colonizers have long tried to crush the spirits of indigenous people through assimilation, aggression, and abuse. One of the most devastating practices to manifest itself up until the present day is sexual assault. Non-native men continue to rape Native women, and tragically, many of these assaults go unpunished. This is partly the result of a 1978 Supreme Court case that stripped Native Americans of their right to prosecute non-Native Americans for crimes committed on their lands.

The long and rigorous battle for Native authority began when two non-Native Americans were arrested on the Port Madison Indian Reservation in Washington during the Suquamish’s annual Chief Seattle Days celebration in the 1970s. The first of these men was Mark David Oliphant, who was arrested and charged with assaulting a tribal officer and resisting arrest. The second of these men was Daniel Belgarde, who was arrested and charged with recklessly endangering another person and injuring tribal property.


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