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Document Type

Notes

Abstract

Although Native Americans in the contiguous United States have benefited from recent congressional reforms, Alaska Native communities were largely ignored. Despite the widely acknowledged crisis of sexual assault and domestic violence in rural Alaska Native communities, Congress has explicitly exempted Alaska from legislation that would otherwise give people in these communities the ability to protect themselves. Although public outcry has prompted pending legislation in Congress to repeal some of these exemptions, such as the Alaska Safe Families and Villages Act, even that legislation does not go far enough to achieve a permanent and effective solution to what is a life-or-death problem for many Alaska Natives. This Note argues that Congress and the State of Alaska should expand Alaska Native tribal sovereignty to give Alaska Native communities the ability to stem the tide of this epidemic.