Archive for the ‘Native Americans’ Category

Facts for Features: American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month: November 2014

November 17, 2014 Comments off

Facts for Features: American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month: November 2014
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The first American Indian Day was celebrated in May 1916 in New York. Red Fox James, a Blackfeet Indian, rode horseback from state to state, getting endorsements from 24 state governments, to have a day to honor American Indians. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed a joint congressional resolution designating November 1990 as “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations have been issued every year since 1994. This Facts for Features presents statistics for American Indians and Alaska Natives, as this is one of the six major Office of Management and Budget race categories.


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New From the GAO

November 13, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Program Evaluation: Some Agencies Reported that Networking, Hiring, and Involving Program Staff Help Build Capacity. GAO-15-25, November 13.
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2. Alternatives to Detention: Improved Data Collection and Analyses Needed to Better Assess Program Effectiveness. GAO-15-26, November 13.
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3. U.S. Postal Service: Status of Workforce Reductions and Related Planning Efforts. GAO-15-43, November 13.
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4. Small Business Health Insurance Exchanges: Low Initial Enrollment Likely due to Multiple, Evolving Factors. GAO-15-58, November 13.
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5. Indian Affairs: Bureau of Indian Education Needs to Improve Oversight of School Spending. GAO-15-121, November 13.
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6. Free Trade Agreements: U.S. Partners Are Addressing Labor Commitments, but More Monitoring and Enforcement Are Needed. GAO-15-160, November 6.
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7. Free Trade Agreements: Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Should Continue to Improve Its Monitoring of Environmental Commitments. GAO-15-161, November 6.
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New Report Shows Continued Pattern of Voting Rights Discrimination—African American, Latino, Asian American and Native American Voters More Vulnerable Than Ever

September 2, 2014 Comments off

New Report Shows Continued Pattern of Voting Rights Discrimination—African American, Latino, Asian American and Native American Voters More Vulnerable Than Ever
Source: National Commission on Voting Rights

On the anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act and a year after the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v Holder decision gutted a vital protection of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), the National Commission on Voting Rights has released a new report showing where and how minority voters continue to be harmed by racial discrimination in voting. The report, Protecting Minority Voters: Our Work is Not Done, challenges the Court’s rationale that improvements in minority citizens’ rates of voting and voter registration and the success of minority candidates indicated that the coverage formula protecting minority voters was unconstitutionally outdated.

Jails In Indian Country, 2013

August 25, 2014 Comments off

Jails In Indian Country, 2013
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

Presents findings from the 2013 Survey of Jails in Indian Country, an enumeration of 79 jails, confinement facilities, detention centers, and other correctional facilities operated by tribal authorities or the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This report examines the trends from 2000 to 2013 in the number of adults and juveniles held, type of offense, number of persons confined on the last weekday in June, peak population, average daily population, admissions in June, and expected average length of stay in jail at admission. It also provides data on rated capacity, facility crowding, and jail staffing in June 2013. In addition, it provides counts of inmate deaths and suicide attempts for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2013 and compares to counts in prior years.


  • At midyear 2013, a total of 2,287 inmates were confined in Indian country jails—a 3.3% decrease from the 2,364 inmates confined at midyear 2012.
  • The number of inmates admitted into Indian country jails during June 2013 (10,977) was five times the size of the average daily population (2,141).
  • Since 2010, about 31% of inmates in Indian country jails have been confined for a violent offense, a decline from about 39% in each year between midyear 2004 and 2009.
  • Domestic violence (15%) and aggravated or simple assault (10%) accounted for the largest percentage of violent offenders at midyear 2013, followed by unspecified violence (5%) and rape or sexual assault (2%).
  • Nearly 2 in 10 inmates were held for public intoxication at midyear 2013.

Trademark Trial and Appeal Board order — Washington Redskins case

June 19, 2014 Comments off

Trademark Trial and Appeal Board order — Washington Redskins case
Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Petitioners, five Native Americans, have brought this cancellation proceeding pursuant to Section 14 of the Trademark Act of 1946, 15 U.S.C. § 1064(c). They seek to cancel respondent’s registrations issued between 1967 and 1990 for trademarks consisting in whole or in part of the term REDSKINS for professional football-related services on the ground that the registrations were obtained contrary to Section 2(a), 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a), which prohibits registration of marks that may disparage persons or bring them into contempt or disrepute. In its answer, defendant, Pro-Football, Inc., asserted various affirmative defenses including laches.

As explained below, we decide, based on the evidence properly before us, that these registrations must be cancelled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered, in violation of Section 2(a) of the Trademark Act of 1946, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a). This decision concerns only the statutory right to registration under Section 2(a). We lack statutory authority to issue rulings concerning the right to use trademarks. See, e.g., In re Franklin Press, Inc., 597 F.2d 270, 201 USPQ 662, 664 (CCPA 1979).

+ All relevant documents

New From the GAO

March 27, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Canceled DOD Programs: DOD Needs to Better Use Available Guidance and Manage Reusable Assets. GAO-14-77, March 27.
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2. Native American Housing: Additional Actions Needed to Better Support Tribal Efforts. GAO-14-255, March 27.
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3. Major Automated Information Systems: Selected Defense Programs Need to Implement Key Acquisition Practices. GAO-14-309, March 27.
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4. Manufacturing Extension Partnership: Most Federal Spending Directly Supports Work with Manufacturers, but Distribution Could Be Improved. GAO-14-317, March 27.
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5. Defense Infrastructure: DOD’s 2013 Facilities Corrosion Study Addressed Reporting Elements. GAO-14-337R, March 27.

6. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute: Review of the Audit of the Financial Statements for 2013 and 2012. GAO-14-415R, March 27.

CRS — Tribal Jurisdiction over Nonmembers – A Legal Overview

February 19, 2014 Comments off

Tribal Jurisdiction over Nonmembers – A Legal Overview (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via MSPB Watch)

Indian tribes are quasi-sovereign entities that enjoy all the sovereign powers that are not divested by Congress or inconsistent with the tribes’ dependence on the United States. As a general rule, this means that Indian tribes cannot exercise criminal or civil jurisdiction over nonmembers. There are two exceptions to this rule for criminal jurisdiction. First, tribes may exercise criminal jurisdiction over nonmember Indians. Second, tribes may try non-Indians who commit dating and domestic violence crimes against Indians within the tribes’ jurisdictions provided the non-Indians have sufficient ties to the tribes. There are three exceptions to this rule for civil jurisdiction. First, tribes may exercise jurisdiction over nonmembers who enter consensual relationships with the tribe or its members. Second, tribes may exercise jurisdiction over nonmembers within a reservation when the nonmember’s conduct threatens or has some direct effect on the political integrity, the economic security, or the health or welfare of the tribe. These first two exceptions, enunciated in the case of Montana v. United States, are based on the tribes’ inherent sovereignty, and exercises of jurisdiction under them must relate to a tribe’s right to self-government. Third, Indian tribes may exercise jurisdiction over nonmembers when Congress authorizes them to do so. Congress may delegate federal authority to the tribes, or re-vest the tribes with inherent sovereign authority that they had lost previously. Indian tribes may also exercise jurisdiction over nonmembers under their power to exclude persons from tribal property. However, it is not clear whether the power to exclude is independent of the Montana exceptions.

The question of a tribe’s jurisdiction over nonmembers can be very complex. It is fair to say, however, that tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians is quite limited. Tribal jurisdiction over nonmember Indians is more extensive. Federal courts, however, consistently require nonmember defendants to challenge tribal court jurisdiction in tribal court before pursuing relief in federal court.


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