Some native groups are saying Tuesday's reauthorization of the federal Violence Against Women act will deny their villages the ability to protect families from domestic violence.
One provision gives tribes nationwide the power to prosecute non–Indians for domestic–violence offenses that occur within the boundaries of their reservations.
Only the Annette Islands Reserve in the Southeast Alaska community of Metlakatla qualifies as a reservation under the act.
The Association of Village Council Presidents, which represents 56 federally recognized tribes in Western Alaska, says Alaska tribes' effective exclusion from receiving that new power leaves them unable to stop violent and unacceptable behaviors.
Myron Naneng, AVCP President, told Newscetner 11 "If they want to choose respect, let them choose respect for the authority the villages can have in dealing with this, because the state of Alaska is not the answer to all the issues and problems that we have have in the villages."