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Child Protection in Indian Country

Confronted with faltering graduation rates and increased incidents of suicide, rape, child abuse and abduction, Department of Justice officials, tribal leaders, police officers and social workers convened in New Mexico this week to share ideas and receive training on how to spot child abuse, help at-risk children, and prevent the online exploitation of Native American children. The Symposium on Child Protection in Indian Country, organized and sponsored by the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), was a three-day national meeting that took place Tuesday, March 9, through Thursday, March 11, 2010, at the Santa Ana Pueblo in New Mexico.  The first of its kind, the symposium brought together more than 60 tribes, including tribal law enforcement, child protection officials and tribal leadership. Breakout sessions for attendees explored topics such as the effects of domestic violence on children, how to create and develop child protection teams, and multi-disciplinary approaches to child abuse and child neglect. Greg Fouratt, U.S. Attorney for New Mexico; Ronald Laney, Associate Administrator of OJJDP; and Larry Echo Hawk, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs at the Department of Interior, provided opening remarks. Jefferson Keel, President of the National Congress of the American Indians; Delores Subia BigFoot, PhD., with the Indian Country Child Trauma Center; and Karin Ashby, Detective Sergeant with the Tohono O’odham Nation Police Department; are some of the tribal representatives that also presented at the Symposium. On Wednesday, DOJ’s Senior Advisor to the Assistant Attorney General for Tribal Affairs, Gena Tyner-Dawson, provided a briefing to attendees on the DOJ’s latest funding opportunity for public safety initiatives in Indian Country, the 2010 Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS).  CTAS funding is available to federally-recognized Indian tribal governments and tribal consortia for tribal government-specific grant programs offered by Department of Justice. The Symposium is another step in the Justice Department's ongoing initiative to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities. More information on the programs and events sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is available at: http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/ More information on the 2010 Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation is available at: http://www.tribaljusticeandsafety.gov/
Updated April 7, 2017