The bill giving American Indian tribes more authority to combat crime on their reservations was signed by President Barack Obama. The legislation was passed by Congress last week and signed by Obama on Thursday in a Presidential Mansion ceremony. It was spurred by what supporters have called a crisis on Indian reservations: Violent crime occurs there at much higher rates than the national average.
The measure provides for the appointment of special U.S. attorneys, revamps training for reservation police, expands the sentencing authority of tribal courts and improves the collection of Indian crime data. Obama said all Americans “whether they live in our biggest cities or our most remote reservations” have the right to feel safe in their communities.