YAKAMA RESERVATION, Wash.—Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales today met with tribal leaders to discuss issues of importance to Native Americans. He participated in a roundtable discussion with federal, state and tribal law enforcement regarding methamphetamine enforcement and other tribal justice issues in Indian Country while visiting the Yakama Reservation in Washington state.
“I think it is important to get a first-hand view of the tribal justice system on the Yakama Reservation,” said Attorney General Gonzales. “The Tribe is doing good work to preserve the heritage of this special place and protect those who call it home from the threats of violence and drug abuse, but there remain serious problems that require additional attention.”
Attorney General Gonzales announced two new Justice Department initiatives for Indian Country during his trip to the Yakama Reservation.
First, he announced funding for the Methamphetamine Investigation Training for Tribal Law Enforcement. This course will provide tribal law enforcement officers with training on how to conduct successful and safe methamphetamine investigations.
The use, production and distribution of methamphetamine on Indian reservations has increased significantly during the past 10 years. At the winter session of the National Congress of American Indians in Washington, D.C., methamphetamine’s dramatic impact within Indian Country was perhaps the biggest issue of concern amongst tribal leaders.
Second, Attorney General Gonzales announced a cold case review initiative for Indian Country. The Yakama Nation will be the first tribe to benefit from this initiative. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and United States Attorneys Office for the Eastern District of Washington will review those unsolved homicides from the Yakama Nation that might benefit from new investigative resources and recent technological advancements in forensic science.
As part of the cold case review initiative, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will make available the services of both its Violent Crime Apprehension program and its National Center for Analysis of Violent Crime.
For more information about the Department of Justice's role in Indian Country, visit www.usdoj.gov/otj.