Tribal Groups

Tribal Community in Oklahoma

The U.S. Department of Justice's Community Relations Service (CRS) has a long history of working with tribal communities in a variety of ways to help support their efforts to:

  • Work effectively with law enforcement agencies on tribal lands
  • Assist tribal law enforcement in collaborating with non-tribal law enforcement on tribal lands
  • Respond to allegations of racial profiling and excessive use of force by law enforcement
  • Effectively address hate crimes and incidents
  • Strengthen American Indian-police relations in border towns
  • Strengthen American Indian-community relations in border towns
  • Affirm the relationship between Indian Nations, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Government
  • Strengthen educational opportunities and ensure fair discipline of American Indian students in public schools
  • Effectively address student-teacher, student-administrator, student-parent, and student-student related racial conflicts, tensions, and bullying in public schools
  • Resolve disputes over the leasing of tribal lands to non-tribal members
  • Exercise tribal voting rights
  • Resolve disputes over the use of reservation lands for sanitary and hazardous waste landfills
  • Resolve conflicts over water, mineral, and land rights on reservation lands
  • Resolve disputes over the return of American Indian remains when burial grounds are discovered during land development
  • Hold safe marches and demonstrations
  • Resolve disputes over hunting and fishing rights under American Indian treaties on and off reservation properties
  • Resolve disputes over the use of American Indian sacred sites on federal park lands, including sacred sites used by tribes during ceremonies
  • Resolve conflicts of reservations that are geographically located on U.S. borders

The Community Relations Service is not a law enforcement agency. Created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, CRS is the only federal agency dedicated to helping state and local governments, private and public organizations, tribal communities, and community groups prevent and resolve racial and ethnic tensions, hate crimes, and civil disorders. CRS supports the U.S. Department of Justice in one of its most important missions-providing assistance to state and local authorities in their efforts to prevent violence, resolve destructive conflicts, and promote public safety. CRS works with police chiefs, mayors, school administrators, other local and state authorities, tribal leadership, community-based organizations, and civil and human rights groups.

CRS' highly skilled conflict resolution specialists-called conciliators-have helped resolve thousands of cases involving excessive use of force incidents, hate crimes, demonstrations, changing community demographics, and many other emotionally charged issues. CRS conciliators do not take sides in a dispute, and they do not investigate, prosecute, impose solutions, assign blame, or assess fault. They are required by law to conduct their activities in strict confidence and are prohibited from disclosing information about cases in which they have provided services. Since CRS' activities are federally funded, conciliators are able to offer services without cost. Conciliators deploy from 14 regional offices. They serve all 50 States and the U.S. Territories.

Case Highlights