Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type



Political Science & International Relations


Indigenous women disproportionately suffer from domestic violence more than any other race, in both Canada and the United States. Tribes residing in Canada and the United States are under differing legal systems. Due to this variation in legal systems, I studied the process by which decisions to prosecute are made and the process of those prosecutions, in order to assess whether these processes are likely to have relatively good outcomes for victims. Two tribal communities that are members of the Blackfoot Confederacy, the Bloods Reserve of Canada and the Blackfeet Reservation of Montana, served as my case studies because of their similar cultural background and the fact that they are under distinct federal authorities. I utilized literature on the restorative and retributive justice paradigms to categorize the procedures conducted on each side of the border. I conducted interviews with professionals, who work with indigenous victims on each side of the border, including advocates, tribal and federal prosecutors, and tribal police. I find that Canadian jurisdiction employs more restorative procedures, than the United States, although both sides utilize some aspects of both justice paradigms.