U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom Joins Listening Conference
With Native American Issues Subcommittee
RAPID CITY, S.D. — U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom joined Attorney General Eric Holder and other administration officials this week as they met with tribal leaders and advocates in the fields of tribal safety and domestic violence in Rapid City, S.D., and Pine Ridge Reservation, S.D. The tribal listening conference coincided with the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s signing of the Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA) into law — a measure aimed at helping both tribal governments and the federal government better address the unique public safety challenges facing Native American communities across the country.
Grissom, Attorney General Holder and 30 other United States Attorneys engaged in a round of conversations, including combating violence against women, protecting tribal lands, honoring traditional Native American values, and training tribal prosecutors and police forces. Grissom serves on the Native American Issues Subcommittee (NAIS) of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, advising Attorney General Holder on Indian Country.
There are four federally recognized Indian tribes in Kansas: the Kickapoo, Prairie Band Potawatomi, Iowa and Sac and Fox.
“We are building strong partnerships with tribal leaders on the four reservations in Kansas,” Grissom said. “We’re also implementing a pilot program for appointing tribal prosecutors as Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys to help us target the problem of domestic violence.”
Holder has identified building and sustaining safe and secure tribal communities as one of the Department of Justice’s top priorities. In June of 2009, the Department launched a wide-ranging initiative to strengthen public safety in Indian Country. Since that time, the Department has taken a number of steps to deepen its commitment to tribal communities and to develop more effective partnership with tribal leaders, police, prosecutors, courts, and advocates to combat crime in tribal communities.
Also this week, the Justice Department is hosting the 2011 National Intertribal Youth Summit in Santa Fe, NM, convening 175 young men and women from nearly 50 tribal communities across the country for the week-long summit. The summit features administration officials from the White House and the Departments of Justice, Interior, Health and Human Services and Education, and provides an opportunity for Obama administration officials to hear directly from youth in Indian Country.
Last week, the Obama Administration unveiled a new proposal for legislation to combat the epidemic rates of violence against Native women in Indian Country. The proposed legislation offers a broader set of tools for Federal and tribal law enforcement agencies to hold perpetrators of domestic violence accountable for their crimes. It builds on the philosophy of the TLOA by recognizing that tribal authorities, in collaboration with their federal partners, are best able to address crime in their communities if they are given the tools and resources needed to do it.
For a list of the Justice Department’s accomplishments in Indian Country, please visit: http://www.tribaljusticeandsafety.gov/docs/indian-country-accomplishments.pdf