Attorney General Eric Holder today announced the creation of the Justice Department’s Tribal Nations Leadership Council (TNLC), a group of tribal leaders from around the country that 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 Justice Department leadership on an ongoing basis. The creation of the TNLC fulfills a pledge made by Attorney General Holder at the department’s Tribal Nations Listening Session in October 2009.
"The Tribal Nations Leadership Council will play an important role in continuing the critical 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, which will meet twice a year, will be composed of one tribal leader from each of the twelve regions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The TNLC member for each region will be chosen by the tribes of that region. Solicitations are being distributed to all federally-recognized tribes seeking their region’s delegate.
Today’s announcement is another step in the Justice Department’s ongoing initiative to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities. This effort is driven largely by input gathered from the department’s own 2009 Tribal Nations Listening Session, the department’s annual tribal consultation on violence against women, and from written comments submitted by tribal governments, groups and organizations to the Justice Department.