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updated: 2/14/2013 11:04 AM

Women's security raised by American Indian leader

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The president of the National Congress of American Indians says security is the top goal of tribal leaders and is urging the House to pass the Violence Against Women Act.

Jefferson Keel's appeal comes two days after the Senate passed the legislation that continues programs aimed at curbing domestic violence and sexual assaults. The bill also would allow American Indian courts to prosecute and sentence suspects, who are not American Indians, in domestic violence cases. The issue has run into opposition in the House.

Keel is delivering the State of the Indian Nations address Wednesday morning at the Newseum in Washington. The annual address follows two days after President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address. Obama also mentioned the Violence Against Women Act in his speech.

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