Note: Since Window’s Live SPACES closed, we had to move to WordPress here. Change is always difficult, but we decided that the work we do here is just too important to let our blog be deleted or lost in the ether world.
Our Purpose & Mission:
To bring to light (and to engage the public in helping to solve) the too often untold or under-reported crimes, especially UNSOLVED crimes relating to “Native American”, “American Indian”, “Indigenous People”, “Native People”, “Indian Tribes”, “First Nations”, “Metisse”, and all of the other “politically correct/incorrect” names for PEOPLE who have suffered the horrible loss of a loved one as a victim of Homicide, or who is Missing in what we call “Indian Country”. We aim to bring these cases to the public with the goal of someone, somewhere, seeing and reading these posts, coming forward by contacting their local police, 911, or the numbers given in specific cases herein, to SOLVE these cases. We also want to help our readers become aware of the difficulties that Tribal Nations and their members face when a family member is murdered or “goes missing”.
We also hope to help & support any family who has lost a loved one and who have a need for advocacy. Often, the police, F.B.I., local tribal government, & county level government officials “shut out” families who want answers and who are hurting. This blog is for them.
We will research cases, post news articles Under Fair Use Act, post photographs, research laws, find/post information & updates, write letters to newspapers, call on officials, and anything else within the realm of possibility, that can be done to help. We will post any data that is legitimate which is sent to us about Unsolved cases. However, since so many websites already exist for “non-native” people outside of “reservations”, we will focus on “Crimes in “Indian Country” on/off reserves”. That is not to say that we will not help someone truly in need of help, support, and advocacy. (We also recognize that Indigenous People are from all parts of the world, and that “people of color” are also greatly discounted in mainstream media in these matters. Therefore, we will likely help in those cases as well, if we can.)
Law & Order:
The laws are very different for each Sovereign Tribal Nation, and are changing even more from day to day. “Grey areas” of “law”, and the way that criminal cases are handled vary greatly. Tribal Nations have recently gained more “power” over crime, such as housing their criminals ouside of their, often small , Tribal jail facilities, in other states. See: http://www.narf.org/pubs/nlr/nlr34-1.pdf President Obama has also signed a Bill to strengthen Tribes’ abilities to handle their own criminal matters.
Yet, there is also “Major Crimes Act” which states that certain crimes, such as Homicides, must be reported to the B.I.A. (Bureau of Indian Affairs), and the F.B.I. (Federal Bureau of Investigation). However, many Tribes label these homicides (and other crimes) as “Foul Play” (possibly due to “Sovereignty” issues; wanting to control their own affairs).
Sadly, improper forensic examinations of crime scenes and evidence are sometimes the norm. Lack of attention to important and thorough examination of crime scenes is possibly because many Tribal Nations do not have the man-power and forensic capabilities to do a proper investigation. In fact, many “non-native” communities do not have the ability or possess the equipment needed to perform proper investigations of crimes. What one sees on televison programs, such as C.S.I. for example, is not what usually happens in a crime investigation. In fact, few states have CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) databases in counties of states, let alone reservations which are often in remote areas. Fingerprinting, criminal records/data, DNA, and other forensic “tools” are really not as readily available as “yellow crime scene tape” is. (Even such tape is either not available or is not used in some of the cases that you will learn about here.)
Even though a convicted “felon” now must have their DNA in a databank, the DNA is not available at the bid of an agency. Unless “that” person is “charged with a crime”, not just a POI (Person of Interest), there is a long, involved process which must be followed to get the DNA of that person by Subpoena (a court order), by the proper authorities, such as the Attorney General of a state IF he/she deems the case important enough to pursue criminal charges.
Sadly, too many unsolved cases in “Indian Country” remain as such as a result.
We hope to change these things, one case at a time. At the very least, we will keep those lost loved ones in the news until there is resolution & justice in the cases herein. Someone is missing a Loved One. Someone needs answers.
Thank you to all who visit here. We welcome your help and support. We cannot do this work without your help. Please help us help families whose stories “migrated” with us here in “Crime”~”Indian Country”.