(STL.News) – 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.
“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.”
United States Attorney Erica MacDonald said, “Here in the District of Minnesota, the Department has awarded more than $4.6 million to five tribes in response to their most pressing public safety needs, including violence against women, opioids, and substance abuse. As U.S. Attorney, I am committed to working with our tribal leaders and law enforcement partners to address these very issues. Our Native American communities deserve to thrive in safety and stability.”
Five Tribes in the District of Minnesota were awarded a total of $4,655,998 in funding. The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe will receive a total of $810,821, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe will receive a total of $624,180, the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians will receive a total of $1,544,538, the Upper Sioux Community will receive a total of $243,008, and the White Earth Reservation Tribal Council will receive a total of $1,433,451.
Nationwide, 236 grants were awarded to 149 American Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages and other tribal designees through the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (“CTAS”), 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.