Department of Justice Gives Grants To Improve Public Safety Programs For Tribal Nations


Friday, October 18th 2019, 9:52 pm
By: Robert McCarty


The U.S. Justice Department is giving 15 of Oklahoma's tribal nations millions to improve their public safety programs.

The grants are intended to serve crime victims, combat violence against women, and support youth programs. 

A full list of tribes and the amounts they'll receive can be found here

The Department of Justice made this press release: 

The Department of Justice announced today that it has awarded over $273.4 million in grants to improve public safety, serve victims of crime, combat violence against women and support youth programs in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. In Oklahoma, 15 tribes and nations received in total $14,142,025.

“Violent crime and domestic abuse in American Indian and Alaska Native communities remain at unacceptably high levels, and they demand a response that is both clear and comprehensive,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “We will continue to work closely with our tribal partners to guarantee they have the resources they need to curb violence and bring healing to the victims most profoundly affected by it.”  

Four tribes in the Northern District of Oklahoma were awarded more than $3.1 million in funding. The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma received $955,668 for corrections and correctional alternatives from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and $613, 860 for tribal victim services from the Office of Victims of Crime (OVC). Cherokee Nation received $794,575 for public safety and community policing from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). The Delaware Tribe of Indians received $672, 192 for tribal victim services from OVC, and Wyandotte Nation received $132, 648 for public safety and community policing from the COPS office.

“U.S. Attorneys from coast to coast are committed to improving public safety for American Indian and Alaska Native communities. We will uphold our trust responsibility in the justice arena. Today, the Justice Department provided critical funding to assist tribal communities as they implement self-determined, impactful programs to protect their citizens,” said Trent Shores, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma and Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Subcommittee on Native American Issues. “I am especially proud of the strong partnerships forged between my office and the 13 federally recognized tribes in the Northern District of Oklahoma. Our partnerships with tribal law enforcement, prosecutors and victim services are vital to the fulfillment of the mission of justice.”

“The Quapaw Nation has grown and developed a good deal in the past 15 years, in a way that has outpaced the growth and expansion of some of our services. We are immensely grateful for U.S. Attorney Trent Shores’ support in bringing about this opportunity to improve safety and justice services for our Nation members,” said Quapaw Nation Chairman John L. Berrey. “We will certainly put the money to very good use, and we look forward to seeing how all of these grants produce positive change throughout Indian Country.”

“The Cherokee Nation will use these funds to better protect our tribal lands and citizens as part of our fight against opioid and methamphetamine use and the potential criminal activity associated with it,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “Our Cherokee Nation Marshals patrol 4.4 million rural acres within our Cherokee Nation tribal boundaries, and we will use these dollars to upgrade radio equipment and smartphone devices so that our marshals can more quickly and effectively connect or call in local law enforcement agencies for quicker assistance. Arming our protectors with the latest technology is essential for us to be proactive in ending this national epidemic in Indian Country.”

Also included in the Oklahoma funding are the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Comanche Nation, Kaw Nation, Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians, Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, Chickasaw Nation, Thlopthlocco Tribal Town and Tonkawa Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma.

Nationwide, 236 grants were awarded to 149 American Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages and other tribal designees through the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation, a streamlined application for tribal-specific grant programs. Of the $118 million awarded via CTAS, just over $62.6 million comes from the Office of Justice Programs, about $33.1 million from the Office on Violence Against Women and more than $23.2 million from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. A portion of the funding will support tribal youth mentoring and intervention services, help native communities implement requirements of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, and provide training and technical assistance to tribal communities. Another $5.5 million was funded by OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance to provide training and technical assistance to CTAS awardees.

The Department also announced awards and other programming totaling $167.2 million in a set-aside program to serve victims of crime. The awards are intended to help tribes develop, expand and improve services to victims by supporting programming and technical assistance. About $25.6 million of these awards were awarded under CTAS and are included in the $118 million detailed above.

CTAS funding helps tribes develop and strengthen their justice systems’ response to crime, while expanding services to meet their communities’ public safety needs. The awards cover 10 purpose areas: public safety and community policing; justice systems planning; alcohol and substance abuse; corrections and correctional alternatives; children’s justice act partnerships; services for victims of crime; violence against women; juvenile justice; violent crime reduction; and tribal youth programs.

The Department also provided $6.1 million to help tribes to comply with federal law on sex offender registration and notification, $1.7 million in separate funding to assist tribal youth and nearly $500,000 to support tribal research on missing and murdered indigenous women and children and other public safety-related topics.

Today’s announcement is part of the Justice Department’s ongoing initiative to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.