The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Reservation crime makes Natives unsafe

By Tikko Mercado/ reporter

One out of two Native American women living on an Indian reservation is a victim of rape and violent assault, a NE government professor speaker told students March 28. 

Ojibwa tribe member Lisa Uhlir also spoke about the inaccurate portrayal of Native American women in the media.

In the TV show Breaking Bad, some scenes take place on Native American land, and while it seems as though it’s OK to become a drug producer, the way the laws work in this country, if a person is not a tribe member, crimes committed are not punishable, Uhlir said.

“One criminal element attracts another criminal element,” she said. “We have the drug trade and what supports the drug trade.”

When word spreads in the criminal community, more criminal elements are brought into reservations, making the reservations excessively unsafe, Uhlir said.

“There have been a lot of attempts in 2010 to increase the ability to prosecute, increase the ability of reservations to make some changes on reservations to prosecute non-tribal members,” she said. “That has failed.”

When a person commits violent crime and it goes unprosecuted, crimes escalate, Uhlir said.

“In the last two years, the biggest problem on Native reservations has not been violence against Native women, it’s death,” she said. “Young girls are disappearing, usually under the age of 16, and we find their dead bodies weeks later.”

Uhlir said her findings on the statistics about violence against women were so depressing, she had to stop for about two months.

“Eighty-six percent of the violence to Native American women are from a different race,” she said

Women are not the only ones affected by violence. Men can be victims as well, Uhlir said.

“Native American males between the ages of 14 and 22 are the most likely to commit suicide in the entire country,” she said, “one in five.”

The reason is they feel helpless, Uhlir said.

“They cannot protect their families, can’t protect their homes, can’t protect their children,” she said.

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