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Press Release

Justice Department Awards Almost $70 Million in Grant Funding for Support Services for American Indian and Alaska Native Victims of Crime

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

The Justice Department announced today the awarding of $69,632,900 through 212 awards in the Department’s Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside (TVSSA) program, which provides support to American Indian and Alaska Native  communities across the country to enhance services for victims of crime, consistent with the requirements of the Victims of Crime Act.

These awards will fund a wide range of services for crime victims, from counseling and civil legal assistance to emergency housing and Tribal wellness ceremonies. Of these TVSSA awards, almost $22 million will go to 67 Tribal communities in Alaska.

“The Justice Department recognizes that Alaska Native families and communities have endured persistently high levels of violence and that women and girls have borne the brunt of that violence,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “We are here today to reaffirm the Justice Department’s commitment to working across the federal government and with Alaska Native communities to meet these urgent challenges.” 

Additionally, earlier today, the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) granted $774,790 in Sexual Assault Services Formula Grant Program (SASP) awards for Alaska Native communities.

Attorney General Garland traveled to Anchorage and Galena, Alaska, where he met with Alaska Native community leaders from several villages. The Attorney General was joined by Sen. Lisa Murkowski in visiting with village leaders in Galena, and additionally joined by Rep. Mary Peltola at a roundtable in Anchorage with representatives of Native Tribal organizations to discuss public safety issues in Alaskan Native Villages.

The Department grants are especially meant to help Alaska Native communities and remotely located tribes meet the victim service challenges that they face. OVC recently piloted a new approach to make it easier to access grants recognizing some challenges posed by limited human and technological resources. This pilot was implemented in direct response to requests from Alaska Native villages who needed in-person support with grant applications. Grant managers from OVC’s Tribal Division were deployed to Alaska and spent 32 days on the ground meeting with more than two dozen Alaska village grant applicants and helped with such tasks as creating program designs and project budgeting.

The Department has granted hundreds of awards since the Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside program was launched five years ago, and they have helped provide services to thousands of crime victims. More than 88,000 victims have received direct services since 2020. These funds are being used to serve victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, arson, burglary, elder abuse, fraud, theft, kidnapping, as well as sex and labor trafficking. The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)’s Tribal Division has worked closely with Tribal leaders and Tribal advocates to make sure this program is as responsive as possible to the needs of Tribes.

These awards and the Attorney General’s trip exhibit the continued efforts of the Justice Department to uplift Tribal communities and ensure they have the resources they need to maintain public safety and security.

Updated August 23, 2023

Topics
Indian Country Law and Justice
Grants
Press Release Number: 23-905