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BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA The Department of Justice Native American Issues Subcommittee meets in Bismarck this week. Some 15 US Attorneys whose districts contain Indian country or one or more federally recognized tribes will attend this meeting.
Department of Justice Native American Issues Subcommittee
The Native American Issues Subcommittee focuses exclusively on Indian country issues, both criminal and civil, and is responsible for making policy recommendations to the Attorney General regarding public safety and legal issues that impact tribal communities. The subcommittee will meet jointly with the United Tribes Technical College's Tribal Leaders' Summit in Bismarck today.
US Attorney Timothy Purdon said,
We are honored to host DOJ's Native American Issues Subcommittee in Bismarck. By bringing these US Attorneys and other top DOJ officials together with tribal leaders from North Dakota to discuss how we can all work together to improve public safety in tribal communities, we hope to build on the progress being made in Indian Country in North Dakota and around the country.
US Attorney Purdon is the vice-chair of the Justice Department's Native American Issues Subcommittee.
The Native American Issues Subcommittee is chaired by US Attorney for the District of South Dakota Brendan Johnson. US Attorney Johnson said,
US Attorney Purdon is a national leader on Native American issues. The Native American Issues Subcommittee selected North Dakota as the site of our only field hearing of the year so we can learn more about Purdon's innovative public safety initiatives, and to discuss the public safety challenges that still exist throughout Indian country.
Also attending the Native American Issues Subcommittee -Tribal Leaders' Summit meeting will be Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary Lou Leary of the Office of Justice Programs. The Office of Justice Programs provides innovative leadership to federal, state, local and tribal justice systems by disseminating state of the art knowledge and practices across America, and providing grants for the implementation of these crime fighting strategies.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Leary said,
I'm pleased to be going to Bismarck to talk about opportunities for collaboration between US Attorney tribal liaisons and my agency. The Office of Justice Programs works in partnership with tribal governments to identify the most pressing crime-related challenges and provide assistance to address these challenges. It's important for all of us to know as much as we can about the overall resources available to support tribal justice and public safety systems, so we can help with comprehensive planning efforts on the ground that meet each tribe's needs.
The Native American Issues Subcommittee has played a key role in the Department of Justice's ongoing efforts to implement the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010. In July 2011, the Native American Issues Subcommittee met in Rapid City, South Dakota, and on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to hear from tribal leaders, law enforcement officials and community members about public safety issues in Indian country, including violence against Native American women. Attorney General Eric Holder, then Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli, Assistant Attorney General Ignacia S. Moreno and other Department of Justice and Bureau of Indian Affairs officials participated in that meeting.
The Native American Issues Subcommittee members also participated in the drafting of legislation proposed in July 2011 by the Department of Justice aimed at combating violence against Native women. This legislation would significantly improve the safety of Native women and allow federal and tribal law enforcement agencies to hold more perpetrators of domestic violence accountable for their crimes.
posted September 6, 2012 7:00 am edt