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September 14, 2011

BOSTON, Mass. – United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz announced today that the Department of Justice has awarded the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head $567,236 to support the development, implementation, enhancement and continuing operation of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Judiciary. The Tribe will use funding to enhance and continue a traditional tribal justice system which is designed to articulate Aquinnah Wampanoag values, enable greater tribal self-governance, strengthen the economic and cultural health of the tribe, and build tribal court capacity at the local and state levels.

The award was made under the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS), a single application for tribal-specific grant programs offered by the Justice Department. Overall, today the department announced grants of $118.4 million to nearly 150 American Indian and Alaskan Native nations across the country. Awards under CTAS were made to enhance law enforcement practices and sustain crime prevention and intervention efforts in eight purpose areas: public safety and community policing; methamphetamine enforcement; justice systems and alcohol and substance abuse; corrections and correctional alternatives; violence against women; elder abuse; juvenile justice; and tribal youth programs.

“I am thrilled that the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head will receive federal funding to enhance its tribal justice system. Consistently, they have developed solid strategies that exude their genuine desire to strengthen and preserve the integrity of the Tribe. We are very pleased that they are being recognized for their efforts again this year,” said U.S. Attorney Ortiz.

Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli announced this funding during the Department’s 19th Annual Four Corners Indian Country Conference in Colorado, underscoring the Justice Department’s commitment to enhancing public safety in Indian Country and the importance of a streamlined grant application process for federal funding.

“I am pleased today to announce the Justice Department’s continued investment in programs that offer innovative and comprehensive approaches to public safety and justice in Indian Country,” said Associate Attorney General Perrelli. “Our government-to-government consultations have been critical to our understanding of how to better serve and support our tribal partners. By deepening our engagement with tribal governments, we have sought to help put an end to the unacceptable and sobering crime rates witnessed in Indian Country.”

The Department developed CTAS and administered the first round of consolidated grants in September 2010 in response to shared views of tribal leaders that the department’s grant-making process was too cumbersome and needed increased flexibility. Today, tribes seeking funding for more than one purpose area can submit a single grant application, instead of multiple applications.

The grants are administered by the Office of Community Oriented Policing (COPS), Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). The complete list of the Fiscal Year 2011 CTAS grantees, a CTAS Fact Sheet and other information about the consolidated solicitation is also available at

Soon after he came into office, Attorney General Eric Holder identified building and sustaining safe and secure tribal nations as one of the Department of Justice’s top priorities. In 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 Indian nations and to develop more effective partnership with tribal leaders, police, prosecutors, courts and advocates to address and combat crime.


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