Mark Trahant is a Kaiser Media Fellow examining the Indian Health Service and its relevance to the national health care reform debate. He is a member of Idaho’s Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and writes from Fort Hall, Idaho. Comment at www.marktrahant.com. His new book is “The Last Great Battle of the Indian Wars,” the story of Sen. Henry Jackson and Forrest Gerard.
Cops are getting most of the attention after the signing of the Tribal Law and Order Act. At a White House ceremony on Thursday, Lisa Marie Iyotte introduced President Barack Obama. She is an enrolled member of the White Clay People, her father’s tribe, but grew up and lives as a Sicangu Lakota or Rosebud Sioux. She had the most difficult task: Describing her own brutal assault and rape that was witnessed by her children. The attack was never prosecuted because of the jurisdictional maze that complicates criminal justice in Indian Country.
“All of you come at this from different angles, but you’re united in support of this bill because you believe, like I do, that it is unconscionable that crime rates in Indian Country are more than twice the national average and up to 20 times the national average on some reservations,” the president said. “And all of you believe, like I do, that when one in three Native American women will be raped in their lifetimes, that is an assault on our national conscience; it is an affront to our shared humanity; it is something that we cannot allow to continue.”
Tags: buffalo post, Building Domestic Violence Health Care Responses in Indian Country, Cherokee Indian Hospital, Domestic violence, Eileen Hudon, Gwen Florio, Hlealth care reform, Interior Department, Justice Department, Marie Iyotte, Mark Trahant, Native American news, Navajo, Obama, Rosebud Sioux, Sicangu Lakota, Tribal Law and Order Act, White Clay People