After claiming title to the land now widely known as the United States, colonizers and settlers imposed a legal system that denies Indigenous nations agency. The United States government has launched a steady attack on attributes of Tribal sovereignty since its inception. The sexism entangled with colonialism encourages violence against women, and limitations on Tribal jurisdiction leave Indigenous nations without adequate recourse for violence against women on their land. Violence against women has become an epidemic in Indian Country, and most aggressors come from outside the territory. In 2013 when Congress granted tribes limited criminal jurisdiction over nonmembers on Tribal land, the tribes in Maine did not receive a jurisdictional grant and still struggled to adequately address nonmember violence. In March 2020, the Maine State Legislature specified that tribes in Maine would now benefit from the federal grant of jurisdiction. This state legislation, like the legislation at the federal level, is a step in the right direction; however, injustice will continue so long as the United States denies expanded Tribal sovereignty.
Nina J. Ciffolillo,
Legal Barriers to Tribal Jurisdiction over Violence Against Women in Maine: Developments and Paths Forward,
Me. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.mainelaw.maine.edu/mlr/vol73/iss2/6