WASHINGTON – Hundreds of American Indian and Alaskan Native communities will receive almost $127 million to enhance law enforcement, bolster justice systems, prevent youth substance abuse, serve sexual assault and elder victims, and support other efforts to combat crime, the US Department of Justice is reporting.
The grants are the first under the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS), a new effort combining 10 different Department of Justice grant programs into a single solicitation.
Tribes in the North Coast region receiving grants include the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians in Mendocino County, which received a COPS- Tribal Resource Grant Program for $332,949 and $675,000 from a tribal governments program.
Also in Mendocino County, the Round Valley Indian Tribes in Covelo were granted $319,285 to develop and enhance the operation of tribal justice systems.
In Sonoma County, the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians were granted funds for tribal justice systems in the amount of $329,107.
Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli announced the CTAS awards at the National Museum of the American Indian.
Perrelli noted that Attorney General Eric Holder and other Department of Justice leadership held tribal listening sessions last year.
The department developed CTAS in response to views shared at these sessions, Tribal consultation events and other feedback from tribal leaders.
"Today, we take another major step toward true nation-to-nation collaboration," said Perrelli. "CTAS is not only a more streamlined grant-making process, it is part of the department's broader strategy of increased engagement with tribal communities across a broad range of areas."
CTAS includes most of the tribal programs from the department's Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). The programs were listed as 10 purpose areas.
In previous years, tribes seeking funding for more than one of these purposes would need to submit multiple grant applications. With CTAS, tribes were able to submit a single application while selecting multiple purpose areas, ranging from juvenile justice to violence against women.
"This approach not only saves time and resources, but it also allows tribes and the Department to gain a better understanding of overall public safety needs," Perrelli added. "Through CTAS and other initiatives, we have sought to take action to respond to tribal leaders and help end the inexcusably high crime rates in tribal communities."
Additionally, COPS Office Director Bernard Melekian, addressed the National Native American Law Enforcement Association's 18th Annual National Training Conference Wednesday in Las Vegas. Director Melekian simultaneously announced the CTAS awards to the approximately 400 tribal law enforcement representatives in attendance.
All federally recognized tribes were eligible for CTAS. OJP, COPS, and OVW worked together in making the award decisions.
Tribal leaders have been invited to a tribal consultation session on Oct. 5 in Spokane to discuss ways to improve the department's grant-making process in future years.
Other California tribes receiving grants included:
Barona Band of Mission Indians: COPS-Tribal Resources Grant Program, $98,443.
Bishop Indian Tribal Council: develop and enhance the operation of tribal justice systems,$350,000; and COPS-Tribal Resource Grant Program, $55,625.
Hoopa Valley Tribe, develop and enhance the operation of tribal justice systems, $324,800; prevent and reduce alcohol and substance abuse-related crimes, $349,846; COPS-Tribal Resources Grant Program, $136,747.
La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians: COPS-Tribal Resources Grant Program, $366,951; develop new demonstration projects on violence prevention and rehabilitation, $499,999; tribal sexual assault services program, $300,000.
Los Coyotes Band of Indians: tribal governments program, $200,000.
Pala Band of Mission Indians: prevent and control delinquency and improve the juvenile justice system, $274,926.
Pauma Band of Mission Indians: COPS-Tribal Resource Grant Program, $338,050.
Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians: develop and enhance the operation of tribal justice systems, $350,000.
Pit River Tribe: prevent and control delinquency and improve the juvenile justice system, $398,384; tribal governments program, $450,000.
Shingle Springs Rancheria: develop and enhance the operation of tribal justice systems, $350,000; prevent and control delinquency and improve the juvenile justice system, $300,000; and tribal governments program, $398,149.
Smith River Rancheria: develop and enhance the operation of tribal justice systems, $350,000; COPS-Tribal Resource Grant Program, $75,300.
Southern Indian Health Council Inc.: tribal governments program, $558,804.
Yurok Tribe: prevent and reduce alcohol and substance abuse-related crimes, $500,000; COPS-Tribal Resource Grant Program, $497,866; enhance accountability for delinquent behavior, $300,000; provide community outreach and victim assistance services to address elder abuse, $100,000; tribal sexual assault services program, $300,000.