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Fifteen United States Attorneys in Bismarck to Participate in Department of Justice’s Native American Issues Subcommittee Meeting

September 4, 2012

BISMARCK - North Dakota U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon has announced that his office will host 15 United States Attorneys from around the country when the Department of Justice’s Native American Issues Subcommittee (NAIS) meets in Bismarck this week. The NAIS is made up of U.S. Attorneys whose Districts contain Indian Country or one or more federally recognized tribes. The NAIS focuses exclusively on Indian Country issues, both criminal and civil, and is responsible for making policy
recommendations to the Attorney General of the United States regarding public safety and legal issues which impact tribal communities. The subcommittee will meet jointly with the United Tribes Technical College’s Tribal Leaders’ Summit in Bismarck on September 6, 2012.

In Bismarck, U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon said, “We are honored to host DOJ’s Native American Issues Subcommittee in Bismarck. By bringing these U.S. Attorneys and other top DOJ officials together with tribal leaders from North Dakota to discuss how we can all work together to improve public safety in tribal communities, we hope to build on the progress being made in Indian Country in North Dakota and around the country.” U.S. Attorney Purdon is the Vice-Chair of DOJ’s Native American Issues Subcommittee.

The Native American Issues Subcommittee is chaired by South Dakota’s United States Attorney, Brendan Johnson. In Sioux Falls, U.S. Attorney Johnson said, “U.S. Attorney Purdon is a national leader on Native American issues. The NAIS selected North Dakota as the site of our only field hearing of the year so we can learn more about Purdon’s innovative public safety initiatives, and to discuss the public safety challenges that still exist throughout Indian Country.”

Also attending the NAIS-Tribal Leaders’ Summit meeting will be Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary Lou Leary. AAG Leary is the head of DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs. OJP provides innovative leadership to federal, state, local, and tribal justice systems, by disseminating state-of-the art knowledge and practices across America, and providing grants for the implementation of these crime fighting strategies.

In Washington, DC, AAG Leary said, “I’m pleased to be going to Bismarck to talk about opportunities for collaboration between U.S. Attorney tribal liaisons and my agency. The Office of Justice Programs works in partnership with tribal governments to identify the most pressing crime-related challenges and provide assistance to address these challenges. It’s important for all of us to know as much as we can about the overall resources available to support tribal justice and public safety systems, so we can help with
comprehensive planning efforts on the ground that meet each tribe’s needs.”

The NAIS has played a key role in the Department of Justice’s ongoing efforts to implement the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010. In July 2011 the NAIS met in Rapid City, S.D., and on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to hear from tribal leaders, law enforcement officials, and community members about public safety issues in Indian Country, including violence against Native American women. Attorney General Eric Holder, then-Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli, Assistant Attorney General
Ignacia S. Moreno, and other Department of Justice and Bureau of Indian Affairs officials
participated in that meeting.

NAIS members also participated in the drafting of legislation proposed in July 2011 by the Department of Justice aimed at combating violence against Native women. This legislation would significantly improve the safety of Native women and allow federal and tribal law enforcement agencies to hold more perpetrators of domestic violence accountable for their crimes.

Joint NAIS - Tribal Leaders’ Summit Meeting:
*   NAIS and North Dakota Tribal Leaders discuss issues of Public Safety, Domestic Violence, and Tribal Courts:   9:00 a.m.

*   United States Attorney’s Office for North Dakota discusses its Anti-Violence Strategy for Tribal Communities with NAIS:   1:30 p.m.

The Joint NAIS - UTTC Tribal Leaders’ Summit meeting will take place at the Bismarck Civic Center, 315 South 5th Street, Bismarck, N.D. The media is welcome. Please contact Dennis Neumann at UTTC at 701-255-3285 ext 1386 or for entry.



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