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Law Enforcement Contact With Native Americans. Chapter 9. Learning Objectives for Chapter 9. Describe the historical background, demographics, and diversity within the Native American community in the United States

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Law Enforcement Contact With Native Americans


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    1. Law Enforcement Contact With Native Americans Chapter 9

    2. Learning Objectives for Chapter 9 • Describe the historical background, demographics, and diversity within the Native American community in the United States • Discuss the implications of communication styles, group identification terms, myths and stereotypes, and family structure of Native Americans for law enforcement

    3. Learning Objectives for Chapter 9 • Communicate the impact of the family structure and mobility, gender roles, tribal system, reservations, adolescent and youth issues on law enforcement contact • Highlight key law enforcement concerns and skills, resources, and practices for addressing some of these concerns

    4. Historical Information and Background Origins in America are disputed by historians • Came from Asia over 40,000 years ago • Originated here (and did not come from anywhere) • Term “Indian” not accurate • Columbus thought that he was in the Indies (India, China, East Indies, and Japan)

    5. Tribe Names and History • Tribes prefer “The People,” “The Allies,” or “The Friends” • History books mention their existence only in relationship with Christopher Columbus • Tribes real name is not commonly used name (e.g., Sioux—means enemy or snake and was adopted by French traders)

    6. Treaties and Treatment • The U.S. Government the worst violator • Genocide and killing of entire tribes • Dehumanized as “savages” and less than human

    7. Treaties and Treatment • Progress on record has not been met with progress in spirit and in actions • “The system” may not be trusted because of the many breach of treaties and contracts • American police officer perceived as a symbol of rigid and authoritarian governmental control

    8. Proud and Long Tradition of Native Americans Serving in the U.S. Military • Served in America’s fight for independence • Served in all of America’s wars with honor and devotion to duty • More than 44,000 American Indians, out of a total Native American population of less than 350,000, served with distinction during World War II

    9. Private First Class Lori Piestewa of the U.S. Army and from the Hoppi tribe • PFC Piestewa was the first woman soldier to die in the Iraqi War and first Native American woman to die in combat. She was a 23-year-old single mother of a four-year old son and a three-year old daughter. • PFC Piestewadied fighting the enemy when her convoy was ambushed on March 23, 2003, near Nasiriyah, Iraq. She died in battle with eight other American soldiers of her unit as PFC Jessica Lynch was taken prisoner and later rescued by U.S. troops on April 1, 2003.

    10. Native American Identity Who is a Native American? • Tribes determine membership status • Not all tribes recognized by U.S. Government • 561 tribes according to U.S. Government • 3.3 million Native Americans and Alaska Natives = 0.9 percent of the U.S. population

    11. The Term “Native American” • 1960s term and referred to groups served by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) • Preferred terms vary greatly among groups • Mislabeling may occur because of Spanish first names or last names due to intermarriage

    12. Native American Populations, Tribes, and Reservations • New York and Los Angeles have the largest Native American populations • 43 percent of all Native Americans live in the west • Cherokee, Navajo, and Latin American Indians comprise the most populated tribal groupings • Approximately 300 Reservations • 1.5 million people on Tribal Reservations

    13. Native American Populations, Tribes, and Reservations • Reservation (Indian Country, referred by BIA) is land that the U.S. government holds in trust for the use of a Native American tribe • 55.7 million acres of land are held in trust and managed by the BIA • Since the early 1980s, more than half living outside of reservation communities

    14. Differences and Similarities Among Native Americans • Not all tribes are alike • Each tribe has its own sets of traditions and beliefs • Overall, all tribes have more similarities than differences

    15. Philosophy Toward the Earth and the Universe • Deep respect for nature and Mother Earth • Spiritual connection • Western civilization sees human beings as superior to all other forms and that the universe is to be used as is fitting

    16. Suicide rate for Native Americans is 72 percent greater than the rate for all other populations in the U.S. Suicide rate for 15- to 34-year-old males is double that of the national average Alcoholism is a leading health and social problem Pan-Indian movement is devoted to helping educate and bring Native Americans back to their roots Acculturation to Mainstream SocietyIndicators of Problems with Acculturation:

    17. Research Findings Show • Strong cultural ties avoid this self-destructive behavior • Southwestern Pueblos and the Navajo tribes have been very successful • Healthier attitudes displayed toward bicultural identities

    18. National Congress of American Indians • Deals with political and social issues for Native Americans • Promotes and protect the rights of Native Americans as a group • Celebrates Native American cultures • Condemns the use of sports team mascots, e.g., Washington Redskins, Atlanta Braves, etc. • Highlights the positive Native American rituals and practices

    19. Language and Communication • Openness and self-disclosure in communication generally do not occur between strangers • Silence is a virtue • Avoid small talk and use words sparingly and wisely • Eye contact is disrespectful for most tribes and displays anger

    20. Touching and Proxemics • Strangers should not touch • A brief handshake is permissible • Married couples do not show affection in public • Avoid crowding or standingclose

    21. Language • Some Native Americans are bilingual • For some, English is a second language (ESL) • Police need to be aware of the ESL issues and cultural preferences • Sensitivity to historical and acculturation experiences will enhance communication

    22. Offensive Terms, Labels and Stereotypes • Any offensive term is unprofessional and unacceptable • Any derogatory comment, negative saying, stereotypic remark should be stopped • Statement of, “I am part Indian” is patronizing and does not lead to greater rapport

    23. Family Related Issues • Deepest respect for elders • Strong extended family and kinship ties • Terrible memories of boarding schools operated by Bureau of Indian Affairs (children separated from their parents) • Children forced to learn English and unlearn their heritage and forcefully removed from their homes

    24. Key Issues in Law Enforcement • Distrust of the police because they are part of the government, the “system” • American Indians experienced violence at rates: • 2 times more than Blacks • 2.5 times more than Whites • 4.5 times more than Asians Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

    25. Jurisdiction • In 1885, the Major Crimes Act was passed in the United States • The federal government has exclusive jurisdiction on major crimes committed on reservations Federal criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country is derived from the Federal Criminal Code, Title 18, USC 1152

    26. Jurisdiction: Indian County Crimes Act and Title 18, USC 1153, Major Crimes Act The 1994 Crime Act expanded federal criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country because of the sovereign status of federally recognized Indian tribes, which precludes most states from exercising criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country over Indian persons. Jurisdiction resides with the tribes themselves on a limited basis or with the federal government.

    27. 1. Homicide/Death 2. Child Sexual/Physical Abuse 3. Violent Felony Assault 4. Drugs and Gangs 5. Corruption/Fraud Against the Government/Theft of Tribal Funds 6. Gaming Violations 7. Property Crimes FBI has Jurisdiction in the Following Crimes Committed on Indian Country

    28. Tribal and BIA Police • Historically, Native American reservations have been policed by federal officers employed with the BIA or by their own tribal police • The BIA’s preference in filling police officer vacancies is given to qualified Indian candidates in accordance with the Indian Preference Act of 1934, Title 25, USC, Section 472

    29. Tribal and BIA Police • Most tribal governments have their own tribal police departments consisting of 171 law enforcement agencies and have federal/state arrest authority • There are 2,000 tribal police officers and over 1,000 non-sworn employees with the tribal police • The BIA only has 37 law enforcement agencies and just over 300 sworn officers Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2003

    30. Police stops and racial profiling Peyote for religious use Trespassing and sacred burial lands Native American sites—use, desecration, and looting Indian casinos and gaming Fishing treaties and controversy Key Issues in Law Enforcement