NPT to Exercise Jurisdiction for Tribal Victims of Domestic Violence as allowed by the VAWA

Lapwai, Idaho — The Nez Perce Tribe (“Tribe”) gives notice of its intent to implement beginning October 1, 2024, criminal jurisdiction provisions of the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA 2022”) as authorized by United States Congress.


VAWA 2022 allows Tribes to exercise Special Tribal Criminal Jurisdiction (“STCJ”) within reservation boundaries for specific “covered crimes.” These include assault of Tribal justice personnel, child violence, dating violence, domestic violence, obstruction of justice, sexual violence, sex trafficking, stalking, and criminal violations of protection orders. With the exception of crimes involving assault on tribal justice personnel or obstruction of justice, the Tribe may only exercise STCJ if the victim of the crime is a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe.


Implementation of VAWA 2022 resolves jurisdictional gaps to protect all residents of the Nez Perce Reservation against covered crimes of violence. VAWA 2022 enables the tribe to better protect Murdered and Missing Indigenous Peoples (“MMIP”), Intimate and Dating Partners, children exposed to crimes of violence, and persons protected by court orders.  


VAWA 2022 protects the rights of defendants charged in Tribal Court for covered crimes. These rights include those ensured under the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 and the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010.


VAWA 2022 jurisdiction will enhance the safety of victims within the exterior boundaries of the Nez Perce Reservation, hold perpetrators of violence accountable, and protect the rights of the accused.