CINCINNATI – Over the course of an 18-month investigation into prosecutions of sexual assault on tribal lands, Newsy reporters uncovered breakdowns in the federal and tribal criminal justice systems so severe that sexual perpetrators often received minimal or no punishment and survivors were left with little justice.
More than half of American Indian and Alaska Native women report having experienced sexual violence in their lifetimes, yet survivors face a unique set of hurdles when they seek justice for an assault on tribal lands. The Newsy investigation “A Broken Trust” takes a deeper look at the impact of a complex, centuries-old relationship between tribal nations and the federal government.
For the project, Newsy’s investigative team spent time with members of the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes living on the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana and members of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation (also known as the Three Affiliated Tribes) on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota. From survivors to police to tribal leaders to federal officials, “A Broken Trust” gives a voice to the people involved in this complex system.
Documents, reports and dozens of interviews reveal how the federal government, which is legally required to protect tribal communities, has repeatedly failed to adequately fund and staff tribal justice systems and limited the tribes’ ability to prosecute and sentence sexual crimes to the fullest extent.
Among the investigation’s findings:
“A Broken Trust” will air on Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. Eastern on Newsy’s cable channel. It also will be available on Newsy’s over-the-top streaming platforms and online at newsy.com beginning Oct. 7. For more details on where to watch, viewers can visit newsy.com/brokentrust.
Newsy is a wholly owned subsidiary of The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP).
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Kari Wethington, The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-977-3763, email@example.com