At the recent 2013 White House Tribal Nations Conference, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the creation of the Attorney General's Task Force on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence.
This task force is anchored by both a federal working group that includes U.S. Attorneys and officials from the Departments of the Interior and Justice and an advisory committee of experts appointed to examine the scope and impact of violence facing American Indian and Alaska Native children and make policy recommendations to Attorney General Holder on ways to address it.
This working group includes Federal officials from key agencies involved in issues related to American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) Children Exposed to Violence. Agency representation includes the following: Department of Justice (including U.S. Attorneys in Indian country), Department of Interior, and Department of Health and Human Services. As the Department of Justice prepares to support a new task force focused on children exposed to violence in Indian country, this working group is in an ideal position to take immediate steps and make meaningful, lasting improvements for AIAN children.
The advisory committee is comprised of leading experts including practitioners, child and family advocates, academic experts, and licensed clinicians. Senator Byron Dorgan, Board of Advisors, Center for Native American Youth, former U.S. Senator and chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and Joanne Shenandoah, Iroquois, composer and musical artist will serve as the Co-Chairs of the advisory committee. Read the advisory committee's official Charter.
This new Task Force is part of the Attorney General's Defending Childhood Initiative, a project that addresses the epidemic levels of exposure to violence faced by our nation's children. The task force was created in response to a recommendation in the Attorney General's National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence December 2012 final report. The report noted that American Indian and Alaska Native children have an exceptional degree of unmet needs for services and support to prevent and respond to the extreme levels of violence they experience. Read the full Report of the Attorney General's National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence published December 12, 2012.
Based on the testimony at four public hearings, on comprehensive research, and on extensive input from experts, advocates, and impacted families and communities nationwide, the Advisory Committee on American Indian Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence will issue a final report to the Attorney General presenting its findings and comprehensive policy recommendations in the fall of 2014. The report will serve as a blueprint for preventing children's exposure to violence and for reducing the negative effects experienced by children exposed to violence across the United States.
The hearings are open to the public, and there will be an opportunity at each hearing for public comment.
Please use the links provided to Submit written testimony or Request to provide oral testimony