North Dakota contains all or part of four Indian reservations: the Fort Berthold Reservation, home of the Three Affiliated Tribes (the Mandan, the Hidatsa, and the Arikara); the Spirit Lake Reservation, home of the Spirit Lake Tribe; the Standing Rock Reservation, home of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; and the Turtle Mountain Reservation, home to the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. A small amount of tribal trust land belonging to the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe also exists in southeastern North Dakota, although the vast majority of the tribal trust land is located in South Dakota.
The North Dakota United States Attorney’s Office prosecutes all violent crimes that occur within these reservations. These offenses include murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, maiming, incest, assault with the intent to commit murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault resulting in serious injury, assault against an individual less than 16 years of age, arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, sexual abuse of a minor, abusive sexual contact, sexual abuse resulting in death, and other offenses as outlined in 18 U.S.C. § 1153.
According to the 2010 Census, North Dakota has approximately 36,500 people (5.4 percent of the population) who consider themselves Native American. This number increases when people who consider themselves part Native American are added. In 2009 the North Dakota State Data Center reported an estimated 43,167 people in North Dakota considered themselves all or part Native American.
North Dakota U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon has made Indian Country relations, safety, and civil rights a high priority. Purdon and his staff have conducted extensive consultations with tribal leaders, and have developed an Anti-Violence Strategy to combat the public safety issues facing those who live in Indian Country. In addition, Purdon and his staff have worked to increase communication between the federal government and tribal communities by sponsoring an annual Tribal Listening Conference and focusing on youth outreach.
North Dakota United States Attorney’s Office
Recent Indian Country Initiatives
South Dakota U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli and North Dakota U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon at the Native American Issues Subcommittee Meeting in Rapid City, South Dakota on July 27, 2011.
Media Coverage of Indian Country Initiatives