Quapaw Nation Claims Criminal Jurisdiction Over Non-Indians | KSNF/KODE
QUAPAW, Okla. – All domestic violence crimes that occurred on the Quapaw Nation Reservation will now be handled by tribal law enforcement and court services.
On Wednesday, the Quapaw Nation Affairs Committee unanimously approved legislation exercising special criminal jurisdiction over domestic violence over non-Indians.
“There have been 28 appeals since the Lawhorn decision and 16 of those appeals involved a non-Indigenous suspect and an Indigenous victim,” said Charles Addington, chief marshal of the Quapaw Nation Marshal’s Service. “So 57% of those appeals could have applied to the special criminal jurisdiction on domestic violence.
The Lawhorn decision stems in part from a recent US Supreme Court decision reaffirming the Creek, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole Nation reservations. The Lawhorn decision allows the Quapaw reservation to exist, making it the first and only tribe in Oklahoma to have its reservation confirmed that is not one of the “Five Civilized Tribes”.
“This is our nation, and we have a duty to protect its citizens, especially the most vulnerable,” said Joseph Byrd, President of the Quapaw Nation.
A recent cross-delegation agreement with seven local law enforcement agencies allows local law enforcement agencies to respond to and assist Quapaw Nation Marshals. Prior to cross-delegation agreements, law enforcement officers could not prosecute the crime once it entered the reserve. The agreement also requires that these law enforcement agencies follow Quapaw Nation laws within the boundaries of the reservation.
With the scourge of missing and murdered Indigenous peoples in Indian Country, the Quapaw Nation can investigate and prosecute non-Indian offenders who victimize women and children inside the reservation, Byrd said.
“I’m proud of the progress our team is working diligently to achieve,” Byrd said. “We want to be the model and show the public what a tribe can do.”
Potential offenders and those who commit domestic and dating violence – “we are watching you and we will continue to ensure that our community is safe for everyone living on the reservation,” Byrd said.
The Quapaw Nation’s special criminal jurisdiction over domestic violence follows the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. This allows the Quapaw Nation court authority to administer harsher criminal penalties and higher fines for non-Indian perpetrators involved in domestic violence. , dating violence or violation of a protective order.
The Quapaw Nation Marshal Service was established in 2010 and currently has 24 law enforcement officers. The Quapaw Nation Ki-ho-ta Center houses the Quapaw Nation Courts.