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Celebrating our Journey – 25th Anniversary Speaker Series (Free TLPI Event)


November 2, 2021 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Hosted by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute




This webinar celebrates the journeys involved in the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which was a significant victory for Native women and the tribal nations that seek to protect them; the implementation of VAWA 2013’s landmark Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction (SDVCJ) provision (see NCAI’s 2018 Five-Year Report); and current VAWA reauthorization efforts to strengthen this initial limited restoration of tribal criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians. American Indian and Alaska Native women face rates of abuse, murder, and sexual assault higher than any other population in the United States. Statistics gathered by the U.S. Department of Justice and tribal governments demonstrate that non-Indians commit a majority of these violent crimes. Thus, the restoration of tribal criminal jurisdiction over non- Indians is a critical sovereign right that tribal governments can exercise to ensure safety for Native women.
Lawyer and Playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle and a special panel joins us on this webinar to discuss her important play, Sliver of a Full Moon, which documents this victory (including the stories of the women who made this journey possible) along with ongoing implementation and expansion efforts. Sliver of a Full Moon documents the legal and jurisdictional issues raised in the wake of Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe, a 1978 Supreme Court decision that stripped Indian nations of the ability to exercise their inherent criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians who come onto tribal lands and commit crimes. Oliphant left Native women and children at a higher risk of domestic violence than any other group in the United States. The play then follows the bipartisan legislative battle to reauthorize VAWA in 2013 with a tribal jurisdiction provision that restored a portion of tribes’ jurisdiction to protect Native women and children from non- Indian perpetrated violence. Sliver of a Full Moon is about the power of sharing our own stories. In the words of survivor Lisa Brunner, “The partial restoration of tribal jurisdiction in VAWA 2013 is just a sliver of the full moon we need to ensure all of our women are safe. Until all of our tribes’ jurisdiction is fully restored, no one is safe.”
  • Jerry Gardner (Introduction/Overview) – Executive Director, Tribal Law and Policy Institute; Special Counsel, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice
  • Kerri Colfer – Senior Native Affairs Advisor, National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
  • Michelle Demmert – Law and Policy Director, Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center; former Chief Justice for Tlingit and Haida; Co-Chair, National Congress of American Indians VAWA Task Force
  • Glen Gobin – Vice Chair, Tulalip Tribes
  • Billie Jo Rich – Domestic Violence Advocate and Survivor in Sliver of a Full Moon
  • Mary Kathryn Nagle (Facilitator) – Attorney/Playwright and Partner at Pipestem and Nagle, a firm dedicated to the preservation and restoration of tribal sovereignty and jurisdiction
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