WASHINGTON - Improving public safety in Indian Country and promoting tribal sovereignty and government relations is a top priority for the Department of Justice. The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the nation’s oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization, recognized Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli for his unwavering commitment to tribal justice and safety and awarded him the Governmental Leadership Award at the 13th Annual NCAI Leadership Awards Ceremony.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Perrelli stated:
“I am here for really two reasons. First, it is because of all of you and the people I have met on tribal lands across the country and in Washington throughout the last decade. Your and their stories inspired me to do this work, to try to improve public safety in tribal communities across the country, to work to resolve longstanding injustices no matter how intractable, to push the Department of Justice and other agencies to truly fulfill their trust responsibilities, and to build partnerships with tribal communities so that together we can improve the lives of Indian people.
“The second is that I have the great fortune to work for an Administration that understands the importance of meeting its obligations to American Indians and Alaska Natives. President Obama has shown his commitment to strengthening tribal nations from his first days in office, and at the Department of Justice, the Attorney General has led by encouraging and supporting our work on behalf of tribal communities. Without their leadership, none of the things that led you to honor me today could have occurred. And none of it would have occurred without the great team at the Department of Justice.”
Perrelli’s efforts in coordination with federal partners and local tribal leaders and law enforcement have resulted in concrete improvements in law and policy, including: enactment of the Tribal Law & Order Act, institution of a streamlined DOJ tribal grant solicitation, creation of a new federal/tribal domestic violence prosecution task force, creation of the Tribal Nations Advisory Council and the hiring of additional assistant U.S. Attorneys to prosecute crime in Indian country across the nation.