Idle No More Enters a New Phase, Seeks Next Steps

 A flash mob in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Photo: David P. Ball
A flash mob in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Photo: David P. Ball

By David P. Ball, Indian Country Today Media Network

Idle No More’s founders and leaders are determined to keep the movement’s momentum going and to maintain pressure on aboriginal leaders and the federal government to enact concrete change.

As Parliament resumed on January 28, activists in at least 30 cities held a second Idle No More day of action, continuing to set themselves apart from official leadership and the six-week-long, liquids-only fast of Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence, which ended on January 24.

“Our nationhood can’t just be words in a constitution,” said lawyer Pamela Palmater, Mi’kmaq, chair of the Centre for Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University in Toronto and runner-up in last year’s Assembly of First Nations (AFN) national chief race. She told Indian Country Today Media Network, “It has to be recognized and implemented and ­respected—and that’s what this movement is about: shifting everything.”

Idle No More wants to keep aboriginal issues on the radar of mainstream Canadians and in the national dialogue while going beyond the flash mobs and rallies with which the movement has become virtually synonymous.

“We have seen the demands emanating from the grassroots sharpening and becoming even more precise,” Glen Coulthard, assistant professor of First Nations Studies and Political Science at the University of British Columbia (UBC), told ICTMN. “Before, it used to be housing conditions, the material conditions on reserves, and the attack on some of the environmental and land concerns with omnibus Bill C-45. Now we’re focusing on the core issue: setting right the relationship between indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples in Canada.”

Sylvia McAdam, Cree, one of the four female founders of Idle No More, wants to continue broadening its support. “I keep telling as many people [as I can] that it’s not an indigenous movement, because Bill C-45 affects all of us,” the Big River First Nation member said. “I believe that the voice of Idle No More—the voice of grassroots people—will become clearer and more focused.”

Some fear the movement could lose energy following the January 11 meeting that Atleo and other AFN chiefs had with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Others see the 13-point Declaration of Commitment signed by the chiefs, including Spence, on January 24 as an attempt by aboriginal leadership to co-opt the grassroots movement. There are even whispers about a possible coup inside the AFN by those who felt the Harper meeting was a capitulation of sorts.

“There’s going to be political fallout,” Palmater said. “Where progress will be made is in the reunification of leadership with the grassroots people. The kind of core, fundamental breakthrough that we’ve been looking for is that the chiefs would listen to the people and stand by their people.”
But some are wary. McAdam insisted that Idle No More is independent from leadership, even if some chiefs have shown support. “Once leadership takes over, the movement shifts,” she said.

Some recommended taking a more aggressive and independent stand.

“We need to alter our strategies and tactics to present more of a serious challenge on the ground to force the federal government…to respond to us in a serious way,” wrote Mohawk author Taiaiake Alfred, professor of indigenous governance at the University of Victoria, in a blog post. “We need to focus our activism on the root of the problem facing our people collectively: our collective dispossession and misrepresentation as Indigenous Peoples.”

UBC’s Coulthard, Yellowknives Dene First Nation, believes that actions such as flash mobs and blockades are an effective tool in Native struggles—at least until there is a substantive change in the indigenous-Canadian relationship. At the same time, he wants the movement to discuss economic and political ­alternatives as concrete­ solutions to today’s crises.

But Chief Steve Courtoreille, of Mikisew First Nation in Alberta, urges moderation. Courtoreille is one of the leaders taking the Bill C-45 fight into the courts through a treaty rights lawsuit filed with Frog Lake First Nation in January. And while he favors confrontation, he is wary of alienating potential allies.

“It’s time now the country pulls together on this very issue—to make the government of Canada rethink their plan,” he told ICTMN. “I don’t support blockades—I support the Idle No More movement’s peaceful rallies. The more the Canadian people understand what’s going on, I know they’ll come on board.”



Sen. Cantwell Urges Swift Passage of Violence Against Women Act on Senate Floor With Tribal Provisions

Senator Maria Cantwell. AP photo.
Senator Maria Cantwell. AP photo.

By Indian Country Today Media Network Staff

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and co-sponsor of the Violence Against Women Act bill introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on January 22, 2013 spoke on the Senate floor on February 7, during the Senate hearing on VAWA where she urged swift passage of S.47 with strong tribal provisions.

Below are Cantwell’s full remarks on the Senate floor:

Madam President I thank the leader Senator Leahy for his leadership on trying to get the Violence Against Women Act passed. And for being down here and working out some agreements hopefully with the other side of the aisle about votes either today or in the future.

“And hopefully we will bring this issue to an end and get along with protecting the rights of women throughout the United States of America. So I am very anxious to help and further that debate today.

“I come to the floor now as the Chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and somebody who has spent a lot of time dealing with tribal leadership in the state of Washington and throughout the Pacific Northwest.

“As I know the presiding officer has a very large tribal population within your state too. And I’m sure you’ve had many experiences with them. And like me you want to make sure that all victims of domestic violence are protected in America. And for us in Washington state we receive over 30,000 domestic violence calls a year.

“That’s more than 500 incidents per week. So I can tell you that our domestic violence program services about 1,800 people each day. Each day. And that is why we need to get this legislation reauthorized and move past this debate and make sure that we help protect victims.

“You know a woman named Carissa came to one of our events recently. She had fled a very abusive domestic violence abuse with her three-year-old daughter. And she is alive she said because of the Violence Against Women Act. Because those safeguards and protections were there to protect her.

“So Madam President I come to the floor today and I’m a little frustrated that this debate has bogged down over a few issues. Particularly this issue as it relates to Native Americans and the rights of Native Americans.

“We had the Department of Justice come to the United States Congress with a very good solution, because their point was, we have an epidemic of violence against women in tribal country. And we don’t have a ready solution as it relates to the necessary law enforcement there to protect them.

“And I guess I don’t mean to be elementary but going back to our country’s history and our relationship with tribal governments it is a federal relationship. And to secure that federal relationship we have said basically these are rights for the federal government and not the states.

“In many ways we’ve eliminated what states can do as it relates to tribal land. So the challenge we have is that on these tribal reservations we need to make sure that the law is enforced, a federal law. And that there are individuals to carry out that federal law.

“So I guess my colleagues on the other side of the aisle by voting for the underlying amendment, I don’t know if they have an appropriation authorization there that says, “OK, here’s how we’re going to deal with it. We’re going to give you a federal prosecutor and a federal agent on every tribal reservation or in every jurisdiction.”

“In my state I don’t know how many that would be. Because you know, we have huge lands and so if you thought that was going to be effective, you’d have to have a prosecutor and a federal agent in probably 20 different parts of my state.

“And if you multiply that even just in the West or your state, we’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars that the federal government would have to bailout to properly police and enforce federal law as it relates to crimes against these women.

“Now why isn’t anybody recommending that? Because I think the Department of Justice has adequately seen that the best way to do this is to build a partnership. And to build a partnership with those tribal jurisdictions to get that done.

“You know I’m always amazed in looking back at this over history, what have previous administrations – Republican administrations – said about this tribal relationship?

“Well, the Supreme Court has made decisions. And even George H. Bush’s solicitor general Kenneth Starr stated in a filing with the Supreme Court, “It remains true today that the state has no jurisdiction on reservations involving Indians.”

“And then George W. Bush, his solicitor general said, “The policy of leaving Indians free from state jurisdiction and control is deeply rooted in our nation’s history.”

“So here are Republican administrations that have basically said the way to deal with this is as a federal relationship. And I’m saying to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, unless you are willing to put a federal prosecutor, and to put a federal agent right there on all tribal reservations, who do you think is going to prosecute these crimes?

“Who? Who is going to prosecute them? And so that is why the Department of Justice came to us and said we have an idea of how we might do it. Let’s try to get a partnership with tribal jurisdictions to make sure that justice is being brought on tribal land. But do so by protecting the civil liberties of American citizens as we go through this process.

“And that is the legislation that is before us. That passed out of the Judiciary Committee and is now on the Senate floor. That is now trying to be stripped from those very rights that Native American women would have. And so the way this would work is obviously tribal jurisdictions would prosecute these individuals.

“And if you don’t think that this isn’t a problem, it is amazing to me to think that this concept that maybe one of our other colleagues might be proposing. That somehow you would say…well it’s a lesser crime. That if you assaulted an Indian woman on tribal reservations it would be a misdemeanor.

“That somehow aggressive abuse, a violent attack against a woman would somehow be a misdemeanor. I am not going to treat Native American women as second-class citizens in the United States of America. Now I get that that might have been the cultural norm of the 1700s and the 1800s but it has no place in our history in 2013.

“This is about legislation that will protect tribal women on Indian reservations and to make sure that these cases of abuse, whether they are done by a Native American or non-Native American are protected. In one case, a woman Diane Millich, her ex-husband was not arrested for more than 100 times he had beaten her or attacked her.

“And then he finally showed up at her workplace with a gun to kill her. And only because an individual from her workplace pushed her out of the way is she still alive. But her husband is being treated as a first-time offender. Because all those times that he beat her or domestically assaulted her he was never prosecuted. Because it took place on a reservation.

“This epidemic is so great that now these people involved in sex-trafficking, in drug-trafficking are targeting reservations and these women because they know they won’t get prosecuted. They know this. So we are allowing an intolerable situation to grow in great extremes simply because we aren’t working together with the tools we have.

“I get that many of my colleagues may not understand the history of tribal law. And the history of our country in securing the relationship with tribes and the treaties that we signed. Again, as I said before, this is a relationship that we have preserved for the federal government. And the federal government is saying this is how we can best solve these crimes by getting the help and support of tribal jurisdictions.

“Now I want to say to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, because I’ve heard some of them say that somehow this violates the civil liberties of non-Native Americans if these crimes happen in Indian country. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

“First of all, all tribal courts also adhere to the Indian Civil Rights Act which is basically our 14th Amendment. So that security of the 14th Amendment is right there in the law and will protect any non-Native American that is charged with this crime on a reservation.

“Secondly, this law has specifically broad language making sure that the defendant would be protected with all rights required by the United States in order for this jurisdiction to have oversight. So it is almost like a double protection saying twice that Habeas Corpus rights of individuals are going to be protected under this statute.

“So the notion that this is somehow abrogating individual rights just because the crime takes place on a tribal reservation is incorrect. So I ask my colleagues, do you want to continue to have this unbelievable growth and petri dish of crime evolving? Because criminals know, when you have a porous border that is where they are going to go.

“Or whether we want to partner with a recommendation that has been determined by the Department of Justice, who has the authority to carry out this federal law on tribal reservations. And are asking for this partnership but with due protection. To give them that due protection so we can root out this evil in our communities.

“I would say to my colleagues it’s time to pass this legislation. And to protect these rights for all individuals. We cannot vote for an amendment on the other side of the aisle that basically strips the rights of Native American women and treats them like second-class citizens. Nor can we just go silent on what is an epidemic problem in our country.

“What we have to do is stand up and realize that the relationship between the federal government and Indian country is a very mature relationship today. With a lot of federal case law behind it. A lot of Republican administrations recognizing that it’s a federal relationship. And that we can accomplish asking Indian country to help us solve this problem and prosecute these individuals under the rights that we have as constitutional citizens of the United States. I am confident that we can get to an answer here and resolve this issue.

“And I can say to my colleagues. We need to do so with urgency. We can’t allow another 1,800 calls to go in and be unanswered and not supported because we haven’t authorized this legislation. Let’s get our job done and let’s protect all women throughout the United States of America. Madam President I yield the floor.”



Teaching Native American studies by doing


Students from Highland Hall Waldorf School visit Ute Mountain Tribal Park in Towaoc, Colorado at the end of their studies. (Image courtesy more at
Students from Highland Hall Waldorf School visit Ute Mountain Tribal Park in Towaoc, Colorado at the end of their studies. (Image courtesy

Indian Country Today Media Network Staff

The school’s website says it’s a place “where education is a journey” and Noah Williams, who teaches history at Highland Hall Waldorf School in Northridge, California takes that seriously.

When he teaches his students about Native American history, they don’t just read out of books, they listen to the oral histories of the Inuit, Ute Mountain, Cheyenne and Pomo and end their studies with a trip to Ute Mountain Tribal Park in Towaoc, Colorado.

“Reading the myths and legends of the Pomos and Cheyennes isn’t just about introducing literature; these are stories handed down through an oral tradition. They were told and heard. So retelling them is really a lesson in listening,” Williams explains in a press release. “I ask the students to put down their pens, be present, and live in the words.”

After various lectures the students travel 15 hours by train and bus for a 3-and-a-half-day camping trip in a remote canyon where they go without electricity and running water. The students gather wood, make fires, learn cooking skills and experience a star-filled night sky surrounded by silence.

“The experience that made the deepest impression on me was when we visited one of many ancient cliff-dwelling ruins,” says Highland Hall 10th grader Casey Gardner. “First we hiked a steep path up the side of [the] canyon. The weather was hot, the rocks were unstable, and we all carried weighted backpacks filled with our belongings. Finally, we reached the ruin. It sat strong and resolute on a thin ledge overlooking the abyss. After lunch, our Ute Indian guide Rick encouraged us to have a moment of silence and take in the astounding view. To me, the silence became a living thing; one could hear and indeed even feel the silence. It made me think of an ancient Native American, probably sitting in the same spot, marveling at the same sight that I was taking in. We usually associate silence with aloneness, but being with my class, people I’ve known for most of my life, made the quiet a shared experience.”



Paine Field terminal will go ahead, exec says on Facebook

County exec announces plans for passenger facility on Facebook page

By Rikki King, Herald Writer

EVERETT — Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon, who has opposed commercial flights at Paine Field, on Friday announced to his friends and followers on social media that he is pushing ahead with plans to build a passenger terminal.

Reardon shared the news on his Facebook page, and through his personal Twitter feed.

Federal law requires the county, which runs the airport, to build the terminal.

“However the county’s elected officials personally feel about the decision of the FAA to allow passenger service at Paine Field, it is essential that Snohomish County ensure all requirements under federal law are met,” he wrote.

The social media announcements came a day after Alaska Airlines proposed, over the next several years, to provide service from Everett to destinations including Honolulu, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Allegiant Air also has asked to operate flights to Las Vegas and, eventually, other cities.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently approved passenger flights at the airport after a three-year environmental study.

The topic has been debated in the county for years. In general, the county’s business community, from whom Reardon draws strong support, approves of regular commercial service to and from Paine Field. The cities of Mukilteo and Edmonds, and community groups located near the airport, recently filed a federal lawsuit challenging the decision to allow regular commercial flights.

Gunshot deaths in Snohomish County

When 20 children died in the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut in December, many people rushed to the Internet to argue about guns. As so often happens, emotions took over. It’s almost an American tradition, debating gun laws. People on both sides toss out stats.

Let’s fact-check one of the big ones: Is it true that more people die from traffic accidents than gun violence?

Not here. As the tables below and the accompanying graphics show, more people in Snohomish County die from gunshot wounds, according to data kept by the county Medical Examiner’s Office.

Four out of five gun deaths reported here since 2007 were ruled suicides and, for a number of reasons, rarely resulted in news reports.

Conversely, nearly every fatal car accident that occurs around here gets some mention. Roughly 30 to 40 people die in the county each year in traffic accidents. On average, about 45 people die from gunshot wounds.

Guns are a significant factor in homicides here. Snohomish County reported 18 homicides in 2012. Of those, 10 involved firearms.

About 4,500 people die in the county every year, the great majority of them from natural causes or accidents. For technical reasons, almost all firearm deaths are classified as homicides or suicides, including fatal accidental shootings.

The most common causes of accidental deaths are falls and fractures and drug and alcohol overdoses, followed by car accidents.

About 100 people fatally overdose here every year. Some of those deaths are suicides, but many are accidents. It’s not always possible to say for sure.

That’s 100 deaths just from drugs and alcohol — more than double those from bullets.

More online

Firearm deaths vs. traffic fatalities

Year Firearm deaths Traffic accident deaths
2007 38 31
2008 33 29
2009 62 42
2010 50 28
2011 44 38
Total 227 168

Firearm deaths

Year Firearm suicide Firearm homicide All firearm deaths
2007 25 13 38
2008 24 9 33
2009 51 11 62
2010 46 4 50
2011 39 5 44
Total 185 42 227

Accidental deaths

Year Accidental fall Accidental overdose or poisoning Traffic accident All accidental
2007 96 98 31 225
2008 130 110 29 269
2009 123 110 42 275
2010 129 98 28 255
2011 137 149 38 324
Total 615 565 168 1,348

Non-accidental violent deaths

Year Suicide Homicide Total non-accidental violent deaths
2007 72 19 91
2008 61 13 74
2009 94 22 116
2010 103 13 116
2011 95 11 106
Total 425 78 503

Prep girls basketball: Tulalip Heritage 48, Mount Vernon Christian 38


MOUNT VERNON — Adiya Jones-Smith scored 21 points and Katia Brown hit several free throws late as Tulalip Heritage overcame some early nerves to knock off Mount Vernon Christian 48-38 in the 1B District 1 Tournament final on Friday.

“The girls started out slow, they were scared and nervous (in the first half),” said Hawks head coach Tina Brown.

Brown credited the play of sophomore guard Justice Vela for keeping the Hawks in the game during the first half.

“I’m very proud of Justice Vela, she stepped up in the first half,” said Brown. “Justice got a couple of steals, made a couple of shots when we could’ve folded.”

With Vela’s help, the Hawks (17-2) held a two-point lead at the half before getting their offense into gear in the third quarter by ratcheting up the defense. Tulalip Heritage held the Hurricanes (15-8) to just four points in the period, while scoring 15. According to Tina Brown, Jones-Smith was able to score off layins created from Tulalip Heritage steals.

Jacqueline Case led the Hurricanes with 15 points and Mount Vernon Christian finally solved the Hawks defense in the fourth, scoring 19 points, which equaled its output from the first three periods. But Katia Brown made 9 of 10 from the line in the last two minutes to ice the game. Brown’s dead-eye free throw shooting shouldn’t be a surprise, she’s the granddaughter of former Seattle SuperSonics great “Downtown Freddie” Brown.

The win earns the Hawks the district title and the No. 1 seed to next week’s tri-district tournament. The Hawks will host the winner of Grace Academy-Evergreen Lutheran. Mount Vernon Christian will enter as the No. 2 seed and play the Lopez-Shoreline Christian winner. Both games are scheduled for Feb. 12.

At Mount Vernon Christian H.S.

Mount Vernon Christian 10 5 4 19 — 38

Tulalip Heritage 10 7 15 16 — 48

Mount Vernon Christian–Natalie Sakuma 6, Kimber-Lynn Anderson 0, Amanda Lervick 4, Molli Kaptein 0, Jacqueline Case 15, Melyssa Whitener 0, Grace Kuipers 7, Kennedy Lucas 2, Carla Van Rooyen 4, Lindsay Noste 0, Ottey Weidenbach 0, Jenna Withers 0. Tulalip Heritage–Katia Brown 13, Kanoa Enick 7, Cassandra Jimicum 2, Adiya Jones-Smith 21, Justice Vela 5, Michelle Iukes 0, Wendy Jimicum 0. 3-point goals–Case 3, Vela, Enick. Records– Mount Vernon Christian 15-8 overall. Tulalip Heritage 17-2.

Robbery suspect allegedly bragged about Monroe bank heist

Herald staff,

MONROE — Police on Friday arrested an Idaho man, 53, suspected of robbing a Monroe bank last week and using some of the loot to buy drugs and sex.

A day after the Feb. 1 heist at the Union Bank, police received a tip from a woman about a possible suspect. She told investigators she met a man at the Tulalip Casino and later spent the evening with him.

During their time together, the man allegedly admitted he robbed a bank in Monroe. He reportedly showed the woman the note he used to demand money from a teller. She also said the man gave her money to buy methamphetamine and to pay her for sex, police said.

The woman gave investigators the man’s cellphone number. Detectives later learned the man’s name and driver’s license number from the hotel registration card. Police compared video footage from the bank with surveillance from the hotel. The suspect was seen entering the casino and hotel wearing the same clothes he had on during the heist.

Detectives called the man on Friday and asked him to come to the police station. They learned he was at his mother’s Monroe house. The man was arrested and booked into the Snohomish County Jail.

VAWA Bill set for vote on Monday

– Grassley Substitute Bill defeated –  
–  Vote No on Coburn Amendment! –  
We still have work to do! 
S. 47, the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization, is a strong, bipartisan bill sponsored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Michael Crapo (R-ID). S. 47 is very similar to the bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Leahy and Crapo last Congress and would improve VAWA programs and strengthen protections for all victims of violence.    
The bill includes historically important tribal provisions that would enable tribes to address domestic violence in Indian country. Votes on the bill were started yesterday, and are expected to be completed early next week, probably Monday early evening and Tuesday.   
In a letter sent to Senators Leahy and Crapo on Thursday morning, the NCAI Taskforce on Violence Against Women expressed strong opposition to any harmful amendments offered to the Senate legislation to reauthorize VAWA. In the letter to the Senate co-authors of the legislation, NCAI expressed unified opposition to amendments to VAWA that would strip tribal jurisdiction provisions or alter the current language in S. 47 in a harmful manner. The letter sent by NCAI Task Force co-chairs Juana Majel Dixon  (Pauma Band of Mission Indians, CA) and Terri Henry (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, NC)  can be downloaded here and you can read NCAI’s full press release here
As a result of a lot of hard work by VAWA advocates, a harmful substitute bill proposed by Senator Grassley, that would have removed the tribal provisions and a lot of other good provisions, was defeated on Thursday 65-34. 
It was an important moment, but there is more work to do to defeat a Coburn amendment that would strip the tribal provisions.
In anticipation of the impending votes, we urge you to take action this weekend and first thing MONDAY by contacting your Senators to vote against any further harmful amendments and vote for the overall bill!   
EMAIL – Find you Senator(s) on this list and contact them by email. Send them a simple message. 
“Dear Senator, Monday is an important day, you’ll have a chance to protect all women, including Native women. It’s time to be a hero and pass a comprehensive VAWA – S.47 – including the tribal provisions and I urge you to vote NO on the Coburn Amendment. I urge you to support the Murkowski and Leahy Amendments.”  
CALL – On Monday, call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask the operator to connect you to your Senators. When you’re connected to their offices, ask to speak to the staff person who handles VAWA. Tell them the same thing you wrote in your email over the weekend. 
” Today is an important day, the Senator has the chance to protect all women, including Native women. It’s time to be a hero and pass a comprehensive VAWA – S.47 – including the tribal provisions and I urge the Senator to vote NO on the Coburn Amendment. I urge you to support the Murkowski and Leahy Amendments.” 

Oppose Coburn Amendment   
Senator Coburn of Oklahoma has filed an amendment that would strip the tribal provisions from the legislation, and this amendment is scheduled for a vote. This is a critical vote that will show the strength of support for tribes.   
As you know, S. 47 contains key provisions that would restore tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians for certain acts of domestic violence and dating violence, as well as for violations of protection orders, in Indian country.  
We urge all tribes and advocates to ask their Senators to vote NO on the Coburn Amendment.  This vote will be exclusively about the tribal provisions and it is critical to get as many no votes as possible.    
Support Murkowski Amendment: Senator Murkowski has offered an amendment that clarifies Section 905 regarding protective orders.  The language of Section 905 on Alaska was vague, and could be interpreted to generally exclude Alaska tribes from 18 USC 2265.  This is a clarification and it helps Alaska tribes. Although it doesn’t go as far as Alaska tribes would like, it is significantly better than the introduced version.  This amendment is scheduled to receive a vote, and can be found here
Support Leahy Human Trafficking Amendment:  Senator Leahy is offering a trafficking-related amendment, which is effectively the same as S.1301, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), a positive bill that had broad bipartisan support last year (including from 15 Republicans). For a factsheet on S.1301, click here. For the bill text click here . The National Task Force to End Domestic Violence supports this amendment.  
For more information, fact sheets, press coverage, support letters and updates: and
NCAI Contact Information:Please contact John Dossett,General Counsel or Derrick Beetso, Staff Attorney, if you have any questions.

Documentary crew to visit Tulalip

By Rikki King,

A French film crew plans to visit the Tulalip Indian Reservation next week to work on a short documentary and conduct interviews regarding the reauthorization efforts there for the Violence Against Women Act.

Tulalip officials last year, including vice chairwoman Deborah Parker, were among those fighting to expand the act to include more tribal provisions. It ultimately didn’t happen. They plan to try again.

Herald columnist Julie Muhlstein wrote a story about Parker’s work last May.

The documentary crew with “Canal+” is expected in town Wednesday, tribal spokeswoman Francesca Hillery said. A private ceremony also is planned on the reservation next week as part of a national day of recognition for efforts to reauthorize the anti-violence law.

“What we will be doing essentially is sending up a prayer for all native women,” Hillery said.

For more information about the law and what’s happening nationally, read this Associated Press story from Tuesday.