WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder today convened the inaugural meeting of the Justice Department’s Tribal Nations Leadership Council (TNLC), a group of tribal leaders from around the country who will advise him on issues critical to tribal communities. The TNLC marks the first time a council composed of tribal leaders selected by tribal governments will advise a cabinet member on an ongoing basis.
TNLC members include one tribal leader from each of the 12 regions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, chosen by the tribes of that region, and two members from the Office of Justice Program’s Tribal Justice Advisory Group. The creation of the TNLC fulfills a pledge made by Attorney General Holder at the department’s Tribal Nations Listening Session in October 2009.
In addition to Attorney General Holder, tribal leaders met with senior leadership from numerous department components.
“The Tribal Nations Leadership Council will play an important role in continuing the critical government to government dialogue between the department and tribal governments on matters including public safety,” said Attorney General Holder. “The creation of the council has been a priority for me since my visit with tribal leaders last year and I believe it is a critical step in our work to improve coordination and collaboration with tribal communities.”
The TNLC is expected to meet bi-annually, and TNLC members will have a term of service of two years. The tribal leaders who comprise the initial council include:
Tribal Nations Leadership Council Members
Co-Chairs of the Tribal Justice Advisory Group
The meeting was also a valuable informational tool, a day in advance of the White House Tribal Nations Conference, at which Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli, Assistant Attorney General for the Environmental and Natural Resources Division Ignacia Moreno, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs Mary Lou Leary and Office of Tribal Justice Director Tracy Toulou will co-host panels on tribal issues ranging from law enforcement to environmental concerns to education and social services.
To review the Department of Justice’s Tribal Nations Leadership Council Charter, visit: Tribal Nations Leadership Council Charter.