Attorney General Holder Hosts Inaugural Meeting of Tribal Nations Leadership Council
Fourteen Tribal Leaders Convene to Advise Justice Department on Bi-annual Basis
WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder today convened the inaugural meeting of the Justice Department’s Tribal Nations Leadership Council (TNLC), a group of tribal leaders from around the country who will advise him on issues critical to tribal communities. The TNLC marks the first time a council composed of tribal leaders selected by tribal governments will advise a cabinet member on an ongoing basis.
TNLC members include one tribal leader from each of the 12 regions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, chosen by the tribes of that region, and two members from the Office of Justice Program’s Tribal Justice Advisory Group. The creation of the TNLC fulfills a pledge made by Attorney General Holder at the department’s Tribal Nations Listening Session in October 2009.
In addition to Attorney General Holder, tribal leaders met with senior leadership from numerous department components.
“The Tribal Nations Leadership Council will play an important role in continuing the critical government to government dialogue between the department and tribal governments on matters including public safety,” said Attorney General Holder. “The creation of the council has been a priority for me since my visit with tribal leaders last year and I believe it is a critical step in our work to improve coordination and collaboration with tribal communities.”
The TNLC is expected to meet bi-annually, and TNLC members will have a term of service of two years. The tribal leaders who comprise the initial council include:
Tribal Nations Leadership Council Members
- Marge Anderson, Chief Executive, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians, Minnesota
- John Barrett, Jr., Chairman, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Oklahoma
- Roman Duran, Lieutenant Governor, Pueblo of Tesuque, New Mexico
- Diane Enos, President, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Arizona
- Lynn Malerba, Chief, The Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut, Connecticut
- Willie Noseep, Co-Chair, Eastern Shoshone Business Council, Wyoming
- Ben Shelly, Vice President and President-Elect, Navajo Nation, Arizona
- Robert Smith, Chairman, Pala Band of Luiseno Mission Indians, California
- Ron Sparkman, Chairman, Shawnee Tribe, Oklahoma
- John F. Stensgar, Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee and Colville Business Council, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Washington
- Michael J. Stickman, First Chief, Nulato Village, Alaska
- Roger Trudell, Chairman, Santee Sioux Tribe, Nebraska
Co-Chairs of the Tribal Justice Advisory Group
- Juana Majel Dixon, 1st Vice President-NCAI/TJAG Pacific Region, Pauma Yuima Band of Mission Indians, California
- Hope MacDonald-Lone Tree, Council Delegate/TJAG Navajo Region, Navajo Nation, Arizona
- This meeting marks another step in the Justice Department’s ongoing initiative to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities. This effort is driven largely by input gathered from the department’s 2009 Tribal Nations Listening Session, the department’s annual tribal consultation on violence against women, and from written comments submitted by tribal governments, groups and organizations to the Justice Department.
The meeting was also a valuable informational tool, a day in advance of the White House Tribal Nations Conference, at which Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli, Assistant Attorney General for the Environmental and Natural Resources Division Ignacia Moreno, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs Mary Lou Leary and Office of Tribal Justice Director Tracy Toulou will co-host panels on tribal issues ranging from law enforcement to environmental concerns to education and social services.
To review the Department of Justice’s Tribal Nations Leadership Council Charter, visit: Tribal Nations Leadership Council Charter.