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Note from Patrick Noaker:

Our law firm created this website in order to provide information to Native American survivors of childhood sexual abuse, their families and those interested in developing policies to prevent childhood sexual abuse and to assist those who have been abused. As an attorney, I am currently active helping Native victims of sexual abuse protect their right to bring civil lawsuits against their abusers in tribal court.

My current work is in the Navajo Tribal Court and I anticipate becoming involved on a number of other Indian reservations on this same issue. It is critical that the Indian Tribes be given the opportunity to both prevent childhood sexual abuse on their reservations and to care for those who have been sexually abused. I believe one way to accomplish this is to ensure that the tribal courts have jurisdiction to hear these very important civil cases involving tribal members, even if the abuser is not a tribal member.

We have learned over the past few years that civil lawsuits are often the only remedy available to sexual abuse victims to expose their perpetrator and get the help that they need. Wish us luck on this endeavor and let me know if you need help with a case, if you have an idea about preventing childhood sexual abuse on Indian reservations, or ways to help those who have been sexually abused.

Recent Events:
Off the Reservation:Sexual Violence and Native Women, 07/12/10 TheCrimeReport.org   Native American women living off the reservation and in urban areas are more likely to be sexually abused than others, finds a new report, Reproductive Health of Urban American Indian and Alaska Native Women.
Tribes receive funds for sex-assault programs, 08/27/09 Greenbaypressgazette.com   Wisconsin tribes, including the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin and the Oneida Tribe of Indians, received $1.25 million in federal stimulus dollars to help fund sexual assault and domestic violence programs.

Hidden victims of sex abuse face deadline, 08/27/09 The Tundra Drums   Workers in Alaska’s jails, therapists and care providers are being urged by a support group for clergy sex abuse victims to spread the word about an upcoming deadline that may allow hundreds of sex-abuse survivors to receive compensation for crimes committed against them by child-molesting clerics, according to a news release from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

State opposes strengthening tribal justice, 08/13/09 The Seward Phoenix Log   A bill in the U.S. Senate that would give tribes more crime-fighting power has drawn a thumbs-down from the state and prompted calls for meetings between tribal leaders and state and federal officials.

Sexual Assult Among Navajo Nation, 05/27/09 Indian Country Today   "Dear Editor, this letter is based on upon my experiences volunteering with San Juan Catholic Charities and assisting with homeless female sexually assaulted victims in San Juan County and McKinley County."

Auschwitz in the US and Canada: Indian Boarding Schools, 2/16/09 The Narcosphere   Russell Means and Kevin Annett spoke on the systematic genocide of Indian people in the United States and Canada, pointing out the murder of Indian children in boarding schools, mass graves and generations of trauma and early death resulting from the long standing abuse which has been hidden in history

Presidential support sought for boarding school apology, 02/09/09 Indian Country Today   A petition’s journey will extend nearly 7,000 miles across the U.S. to carry a petition to President Barack Obama requesting a formal apology to Indian country for boarding school atrocities and intergenerational trauma.

Alaskan Natives file suit against Jesuits for rape, 02/02/09 Atlantic Free Press   43 Alaskan Native Americans File Suit Against Jesuits for Rape, Sexual Assault; Alaska Was Catholic Church's Dumping Grounds for Rapist Priests

A Journey to Heal and Forgive, 01/18/09 The Huffington Post   Thirty-one years ago when my book of poetry, The Aboriginal Sin was published by Rupert Costo, editor of the Indian Historian Press, it was one of the first books written from a first-hand perspective of the abuse heaped upon Indian children at the Catholic Indian mission boarding schools.

Jesuits Settle Indian Sex Abuse Suit, 01/04/08 Associated Press   An order of Roman Catholic priests announced a $5 million settlement Thursday with 16 people who said they were sexually abused while attending a boarding school on an American Indian reservation.

Historical Context:
Soul Wound: the Legacy of Native American Schools   Beginning in 1869 and continuing into the 1960's, government and religious officials took Native American children from their homes and tried to school, and sometimes beat the Indian out of them. Sexual abuse of the Native American was widespread and severe.

Select Committee on Indian Affairs, Hearing September 5, 1990   Given the tragic legacy of the Native American schools, on September 5, 1990, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) convened the Select Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate to consider the problem of child sexual abuse in Indian Country. The hearing revealed that all efforts, whether it be law enforcement or mental health, are severely underfunded resulting in limited effectiveness.

National American Indian Court Judges Association Fact Book on Child Sexual Abuse in Native American Communities   This fact book was published in 1985 and discusses the occurrence of sexual abuse of American Indian Children; information on causes and warning signs; and examples of treatment and prevention resources

Despite the high value placed on children in Native American Communities and cultures, research efforts reveal that childhood sexual abuse is prevalent:
The Psychological Impact of Sexual Abuse of Native American Boarding-School Children, Marc H. Irwin, Ph.D. and Samuel Roll, Ph.D., Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 23:461-473 (1995)  

Prevalence, Characteristics, and Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse in a Southwestern American Indian Tribe, Robert Robin, M.D., et al, Jornal of Child Abuse and Neglect, Vol 21, No. 8, pp. 769-787(1997)