Various members of Idaho’s federal and state court systems met Thursday to hold a roundtable event with Idaho tribal partners to learn from each other about violence against Native Americans and what actions could be taken to reduce domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and other violent crime on Idaho’s reservations.
The discussion is part of a larger event that will take place this fall that aims to develop interagency and intertribal relationships to prompt action and long-term change.
The project started in response to directives from Congress for federal agencies, including the federal courts and U.S. Department of Justice, to address violent crime against Native Americans or violent crime that occurs on tribal lands.
According to the National Institute of Justice, more than four out of every five Native American adults experience some form of violent in their lifetime, and Native American women who are victims of violence have less access to legal and other necessary services.
Laws underlying this year’s efforts in Idaho include the Pro Bono Work to Empower and Represent Act, Not Invisible Act of 2019 and Savanna’s Act.
“Idaho’s tribal, state and federal courts and governments have opportunities to work collaboratively to stem the tide of violence and assault against Native Americans, and we should work together to make every tribal community as safe as possible,” said Judge Ronald E. Bush of the United States District Court for the District of Idaho. “I am heartened and encouraged by the commitment made by each of the participants in this conference to continue working toward actual and meaningful improvements in the justice system for victims of such crimes, and for a dramatic decrease in the frequency of such crimes.”
More information about the interagency and intertribal event will be released later this year.