President Obama signed the Tribal Law and Order Act, which provides greater law enforcement powers for tribal authorities on Indian reservations.
Crime rates on some Indian reservations are 20-times higher than the national average, Obama said, adding that one in three Native American women are raped in their lifetimes, which he called "an assault on our national conscience."
The law requires the Department of Justice to improve coordination with tribal justice officials in prosecuting crimes on reservations, and provides resources for better overall cooperation between tribal, state and federal agencies.
In addition, the measure increases the maximum sentence that tribal courts can impose to three years, instead of the previous limit of a one-year sentence. Supporters of the measure say the sentencing provision will expand the number of cases handled by tribal courts, increasing local tribal control on reservations.