While I find aspects of his argument specious and doubt his actual concern for Native folk, there are several points worth noting. "Tribes rely on the federal government to prosecute crimes that fall under the Major Crimes Act, however federal law enforcement agencies (FBI, BIA) have a mixed record of timely response and often decline to prosecute a substantial number of cases filed by reservation law enforcement agencies." -- Correction: The FBI investigates Indian crimes, the DOJ prosecutes. There have been several recent studies that have placed the blame fully on the Federal authorities for both under funding law enforcement and for not prosecuting. Tribes report and report and report but nothing is done by those who are supposed to be responsible. The result of this is that Nations want more prosecutorial power to actually keep crime down. Second point: "Apparently sharing information is also viewed as a threat to tribal sovereignty by some people. It is clear that crime statistics for Indian reservations are unreliable or non-existent." I'm not sure which tribes he's talking about but ask any tribal police force about crime statistics and they would be able to give you a round about idea. As far as Indian Country block statistics go, I would love for groups like NCAI to (get off their overpaid butts and) actually do something like a full crime survey of Native America. Right now BIA statistics often are the only means to get some numbers. You can get statistics from the DOJ about prosecutions but that doesn't give you an indication about the level of crimes. Increasing levels of crime I might add. When it comes down to our mediated sovereignty, it is all about it's exercise and nothing else. It can be done poorly or well, but whether or not to possess it should not be a concern of anyone but the Nation's citizens.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 21:27