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HJR 3: Urging members of the Alaska delegation to the United States Congress to introduce substantially similar legislation to the Alaska Safe Families and Villages Act of 2013; urging the United States Congress to affirm the criminal jurisdiction of Alaska tribal governments over tribal members within the boundaries of their villages; urging the United States Congress to cooperate with tribes' efforts to transfer Native land to trust; and supporting multilateral negotiations between tribal governments, nontribal municipalities, and the state and federal governments to delineate clearly tribal geographical jurisdictions.

00                        HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 3                                                                     
01 Urging members of the Alaska delegation to the United States Congress to introduce                                      
02 substantially similar legislation to the Alaska Safe Families and Villages Act of 2013;                                 
03 urging the United States Congress to affirm the criminal jurisdiction of Alaska tribal                                  
04 governments over tribal members within the boundaries of their villages; urging the                                     
05 United States Congress to cooperate with tribes' efforts to transfer Native land to trust;                              
06 and supporting multilateral negotiations between tribal governments, nontribal                                          
07 municipalities, and the state and federal governments to delineate clearly tribal                                       
08 geographical jurisdictions.                                                                                             
09 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
10       WHEREAS the 229 federally recognized tribes in the state represent a vast                                       
11 continuum of cultural legacies enriched by thousands of years of traditions and place-based                             
12 ways of life; and                                                                                                       
13       WHEREAS many Alaska tribal communities face severe problems relating to                                         
14 poverty, lack of economic opportunity, alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, and sexual                            
01 assault; and                                                                                                            
02       WHEREAS the percentage of Alaska Natives living below the federal poverty                                       
03 guideline is nearly twice the national average; and                                                                     
04       WHEREAS the unemployment rate for Alaska Natives is dramatically higher than the                                
05 national average; and                                                                                                   
06       WHEREAS the alcohol-related death rate for Alaska Natives has, in recent years,                                 
07 been more than 16 times higher than the alcohol-related death rate for Caucasians; and                                  
08       WHEREAS rural communities in the state have, in recent years, reported alarming                                 
09 opioid, heroin, and methamphetamine abuse; and                                                                          
10       WHEREAS Alaska Native women in rural communities have reported rates of                                         
11 domestic violence multiple times higher than the national average; and                                                  
12       WHEREAS Alaska Native women suffer the highest rate of sexual assault of any                                    
13 population in the United States, and the rate of sexual assault for Alaska Native children is six                       
14 times the national average; and                                                                                         
15       WHEREAS, while Alaska Natives represent 19 percent of the population of the state,                              
16 they make up 36 percent of Alaskans in prisons or jails; and                                                            
17       WHEREAS, in the past 25 years, state, federal, and joint commissions, task forces,                              
18 and committees established to address those issues have included the Alaska Natives                                     
19 Commission, created in 1990; the Alaska Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Fairness                                    
20 and Access, created in 1995; the Alaska Commission on Rural Governance and                                              
21 Empowerment, created in 1998; the Alaska Rural Justice and Law Enforcement Commission,                                  
22 created in 2004; the Indian Law and Order Commission, created in 2010; and the United                                   
23 States Attorney General's Advisory Committee on American Indian and Alaska Native                                       
24 Children Exposed to Violence, created in 2013; and                                                                      
25       WHEREAS each of those bodies concluded that the strongly centralized law                                        
26 enforcement and justice systems of the state have been inadequate to alleviate crime, social                            
27 ills, and community distress in rural Alaska; and                                                                       
28       WHEREAS each of those bodies identified the need to strengthen the authority,                                   
29 responsibility, and capacity of local tribal governments to administer public safety and justice                        
30 in their communities; and                                                                                               
31       WHEREAS many experts agree that greater control, better defined jurisdiction, and                               
01 increased accountability at the local level will lead to swifter response to violence and                               
02 criminal activity in communities, increased crime prevention, and increased rehabilitative,                             
03 rather than punitive, sentencing models; and                                                                            
04       WHEREAS, in matters of jurisdiction and the delivery of justice at the local level, the                         
05 state has too often and for too long been the adversary of Alaska Native tribes; and                                    
06       WHEREAS ambiguities in federal laws deprive Alaska tribes of jurisdictional tools to                            
07 make their communities safer and healthier; and                                                                         
08       WHEREAS the original version of the Alaska Safe Families and Villages Act of                                    
09 2013, which failed to pass the 113th United States Congress, included provisions to establish                           
10 a demonstration project under which a number of Alaska Native tribes would possess                                      
11 enhanced authority over domestic violence and child abuse and neglect, greater local law                                
12 enforcement responsibilities to combat alcohol and drug abuse, increased federal funding for                            
13 development of their tribal courts and local law enforcement needs, and improved                                        
14 coordination and communication among federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement                                  
15 agencies;                                                                                                               
16       BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the members of the                                       
17 Alaska delegation in the United States Congress to introduce legislation substantially similar                          
18 to the original Alaska Safe Families and Villages Act of 2013, reported to the Senate in the                            
19 First Regular Session of the 113th United States Congress; and be it                                                    
20       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States                                      
21 Congress to affirm the criminal jurisdiction of Alaska tribal governments over tribal members                           
22 within the boundaries of their villages, to be defined as an Alaska Native Village Statistical                          
23 Area delineated for the Director of the United States Census Bureau by officials of a village                           
24 for the purpose of presenting data for the decennial census conducted under 13 U.S.C. 141(a);                           
25 and be it                                                                                                               
26       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States                                      
27 Congress to cooperate with tribes' efforts to transfer Native land to trust in order to affirm                          
28 concurrent state and tribal jurisdiction; and be it                                                                     
29       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports eventual                                            
30 multilateral negotiations between tribal governments, nontribal municipalities, and the state                           
31 and federal governments to delineate clearly tribal geographical jurisdictions.                                         
01       COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of                             
02 the United States; the Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Vice-President of the United States and                          
03 President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable John Boehner, Speaker of the U.S. House of                                  
04 Representatives; the Honorable Kevin McCarthy, Majority Leader of the U.S. House of                                     
05 Representatives; the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the U.S. House of                                       
06 Representatives; the Honorable Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the                                 
07 Honorable Harry Reid, Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate; and the Honorable Lisa                                        
08 Murkowski and the Honorable Dan Sullivan, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young,                                   
09 U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.