February 27, 2014
Attorney General Eric Holder met this week with members of the Tribal Nations Leadership Council (TNLC) at the Justice Department. The council, which meets twice a year with the Attorney General and with numerous officials of the Justice Department, was created in 2010 and consists of tribal leaders from around the country. The TNLC advises the Attorney General on issues critical to tribal communities. On Tuesday and Wednesday this week, the council heard about and discussed progress and challenges facing their communities in ensuring public safety, protecting tribal lands and natural resources, and civil rights, among others. One area of progress noted was the recently announced pilot project under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013), as well as reflected on the first two public meetings of the Task Force on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence in Bismarck, N.D., (December 2013) and earlier this month in Phoenix. The group also discussed tribal grant making at the Department, which has resulted in more than $430 million in grants under the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation over the past four years. As Attorney General Holder commented: The Tribal Nations Leadership Council plays a critical role in fostering open dialogue between the Justice Department and tribal governments throughout the country. Especially in recent years, we have begun to take historic steps forward in tribal sovereignty and self-determination, including through the passage of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. In many areas, federal and tribal partnerships are strengthening public safety. And they are enabling us to invest in the future by focusing on the needs of children, finding ways to reduce the traumatic impact of violence on young lives, and nurture native youth leadership. The TNLC is composed of tribal leaders selected by tribal governments to advise Justice Department leadership on an ongoing basis, and is the fulfillment of a pledge made by Attorney General Holder at the department’s Tribal Nations Listening Session in October 2009. The TNLC is composed of one tribal leader from each of the twelve regions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs: Tribal Nations Leadership Council Members: Michael J. Stickman, First Chief, Naluto Village, Alaska Lynn Malerba, Chief, The Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut, Connecticut Ron Sparkman, Chairman, Shawnee Tribe, Oklahoma Bryan Brewer, President, Oglala Sioux Tribe, South Dakota Melanie Benjamin, Chief Executive, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Minnesota Ben Shelly, President, Navajo Nation, Arizona W. Ron Allen, Tribal Chairman/Executive Director, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, Washington Juana Majel Dixon, Councilwoman, Pauma-Yuima Band of Mission Indians, California Merlin Sioux, Council Member, Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Montana John Barrett, Jr., Chairman, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Oklahoma Diane Enos, President, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Gary Hayes, Council Member for the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Colorado/Utah
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Updated April 7, 2017