Soon, three Western Native American Tribes will have the authority to prosecute non-natives for domestic violence and a handful of other crimes committed on tribal lands. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it’s been three decades since tribes have had that power.
U-S Senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico says the grants will expand much-needed services in rural and often remote communities. The federal program has awarded almost half a million dollars to the Navajo Nation to meet increasing transportation demands within the country’s largest reservation that’s the size of West Virginia. Many tribal members live far from medical or veterans services. And many tribes bus students a hundred miles or more to and from school. One tribe in Nevada, the Duckwater Shoshone, lives 75 miles from the nearest town.