Proposal: Platform Amendment - Sexual Assault of Native Americans and Indigenous Alaskans

Sexual Assault of {Indigenous} Americans 

SPONSOR:  Platform Standing Group
SUBJECT:  Sexual Assault of Native Americans and Indigenous Alaskans  in the Peace and Non-Violence section. The following Key Values of the Green Party of California are involved:  Non-violence, Social Justice, Feminism, Respect for Diversity, Personal and Global Responsibility.
Background and Purpose: Sexual violence against indigenous women in the USA has been increasing dramatically.  According to US government statistics in 2007, Native American Indian women are over two and a half times more likely to be raped than other women in the USA, and that 86 percent of the assaults were perpetrated by non-Native men. Alaskan indigenous women are up to nine times more likely.  According to Amnesty International, some indigenous women reported in 2008 reported that all women in their community had experienced sexual violence. Despite government promises and attempts at improvement, this situation is worsening  In 2012 it was reported that at least one third of all indigenous women had been subjected to rape or attempted rape.  
This rampant sexual violence continues an historical tradition of human rights abuses against indigenous peoples in the USA. Historically, indigenous women were raped by settlers and soldiers, including during the Trail of Tears of 1831-1838 and the Long Walk of 1864-1866. Such attacks were deliberate tools of conquest and colonization. These attitudes towards indigenous women combined the devaluation of women and the dehumanization of Native Americans.
Health facilities for Native Americans and Indigenous Alaskans are chronically under-funded.  In particular, little or no sexual assault forensic equipment (rape kits, etc.) is available in hospitals and clinics serving predominantly indigenous populations.  This is a significant bar to successful prosecution and to prevention of future.
To make matters worse, according to Amnesty International, tribal law enforcement agencies are also chronically under-funded – federal and state governments provide significantly fewer resources for law enforcement on tribal lands than are provided for comparable non-Native communities.  Furthermore, tribal courts cannot prosecute crimes committed by non-Natives, even when those crimes occur on a reservation.  
Many violations of indigenous women go unreported because of the poor-to-nonexistent response by the authorities.  Thus in addition to the humiliation and torture of the actual assault and accompanying permanent psychological scarring, violated indigenous women must live their lives without any hope of justice.
The following Key Values of the Green Party of California are involved:  Non-violence, Social Justice, Feminism, Respect for Diversity, Personal and Global Responsibility.
The Green Party of California proposes the following:
(text within [] represents changes on the floor from the Platform Committee from the version submitted in the agenda)
(changes within {} represent changes on the floor accepted by the Platform
1. Strict enforcement of sexual assault laws relative to indigenous [persons] {such as women and transgenders} just as they would be enforced relative to non-native women [persons].
2. Empowering of Native American and Indigenous Alaskan prosecutors to try non-indigenous perpetrators of assaults on indigenous people.

3. Introduction of legislation that would require local law enforcement to assist native tribal police and courts in the apprehension and prosecution of any who commit or are suspected to have committed sexual assault against [Federally recognized and non-Federally recognized] indigenous [persons].

4. Introduction of legislation that {supports} funding of health facilities for indigenous populations[.]  Ensure that the appropriate forensic equipment [and mental health treatment] {resources} are supplied to these facilities to the same extent that they would be provided to non-native populations.
5. Introduction of educational materials in their own language and in English to the reservations of indigenous people that deal with what sexual assaults are, the measures to prevent them, what to do if assaulted, and what supportive services are available.
6. Introduction of educational materials to social studies class materials that discuss the sexual exploitation of indigenous people and the ethics concerned.

In the face of outstanding concerns, the presenters chose to ask for a vote
Yes (10): 5, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 20
No (9): 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 17, 19, 21, 22
Abstain (3): 2, 10, 16
Proposal did not pass 10-9-3 (52.6%), requires 2/3
COMMITTEE DECISION:  The platform originated on Oct 3, 2013. It was posted for comment on the Platform listserve on Oct 7 2013.  After listserve consensus, it received a 2:1 approval vote from the Platform Committee members. On being submitted to the Standing General Assembly, multiple delays occurred.
RESOURCES:  This is a new platform plank.  The closest platforms are on Native Americans and Women’s Rights in the Social Justice and Livable Communities section and Violence and Society in the Peace and Non-violence section.