UNITED STATES ATTORNEY ANNOUNCES GRANTS TO SUPPORT SEXUAL ASSAULT RESPONSE INITIATIVE ON THE ROCKY BOY'S INDIAN RESERVATION
The United States Attorney Michael W. Cotter and Dr. Nate St. Pierre, Coordinator of the Rocky Boy's Children Exposed to Violence Project, announced today that the Chippewa Cree Tribe was awarded two Department of Justice (DOJ) grants to enhance alternative intervention and treatment programs ($572,708) and tribal sexual assault service programs ($299,974) on the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation. The tribal sexual assault services program grant, a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women, will support the newly formed Sexual Assault Response Team (or SART) that has been established on the reservation to combat sexual violence.
In July of this year United States Attorney Michael W. Cotter, along with the Department of Justice, announced the SART Initiative in Montana as a pilot initiative stemming from the Justice Department's commitment to build safe and healthy communities in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. On the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation, the United States Attorney's Office, the FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, the Chippewa Cree Tribal Criminal Investigation Office, Indian Health Service nurses, tribal prosecutors, and staff from the Rocky Boy's Children Exposed to Violence Project make up the Rocky Boy's Sexual Assault Response Team.
American Indian and Alaska Native women are raped at rates higher than any other race. Despite the alarming rates, sexual assault is still the most under reported crime. "Together we can provide compassionate and innovative care to sexual assault survivors," said U.S. Attorney Cotter. "I am hopeful that the grant dollars and the presence of a SART on the Rocky Boy's Reservation will provide another tool to improve intervention and appropriate care for sexual assault victims. We must earn the trust of sexual assault survivors so he or she will feel safe when reporting crimes."
Sexual abuse affects an entire community. We need to address the problem of sexual abuse using confidential and effective approaches that are within an appropriate cultural context. At the same time, we need to engage members of the community, as a whole, regarding the best way to protect the victims of sexual abuse," said Dr. Nate St. Pierre, Coordinator of the Rocky Boy's Children Exposed to Violence Project.
The awards were made through the Department's Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS), a single application for tribal-specific grant programs. The DOJ developed CTAS through its Office of Community Oriented Policing, Office of Justice Programs and Office on Violence Against Women, and administered the first round of consolidated grants in September 2010. It awarded 286 grants totaling $245 million in 2011 and 2012. Information about the consolidated solicitation is available at www.justice.gov/tribal/. A fact sheet on CTAS is available at www.justice.gov//tribal/ctas2012/ctas-factsheet.pdf. Two additional Montana tribes, the Blackfeet Tribe and the Fort Belknap Indian Community received funding through the CTAS.