Office of Tribal Justice

Office of Tribal Justice

Office of Tribal Justice

The Office of Tribal Justice (OTJ) was initially formed in 1995 in response to requests from Tribal leaders for a dedicated point of contact for Indian country-specific legal and policy matters. The office was made permanent on July 29, 2010, with the passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA). 25 U.S.C. § 3665a(2010). The duties of the Office are described in Section 106 of the Act:

 

(c) DUTIES.—The Office of Tribal Justice shall—

(1) serve as the program and legal policy advisor to the Attorney General with respect to the treaty and trust relationship between the United States and Indian tribes;

(2) serve as the point of contact for federally recognized tribal governments and tribal organizations with respect to questions and comments regarding policies and programs of the Department and issues relating to public safety and justice in Indian country; and

(3) coordinate with other bureaus, agencies, offices, and divisions within the Department of Justice to ensure that each component has an accountable process to ensure meaningful and timely consultation with tribal leaders in the development of regulatory policies and other actions that affect-

(A) the trust responsibility of the United States to Indian tribes;

(B) any tribal treaty provision;

(C) the status of Indian tribes as sovereign governments; or

(D) any other tribal interest.

 

OTJ’s broad sweep of responsibilities involve components across the Department, so the Office is one of five offices and divisions that report directly to both the Deputy Attorney General and the Associate Attorney General. The structure and responsibilities of OTJ are described in 28 CFR 0.134, which provides additional guidance related to the three primary duties described in the TLOA.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Announces New Actions to Support Law Enforcement and Maintain Public Safety in Indian Country

As part of the department’s efforts under the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety (Task Force), Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a series of actions the department will take to support law enforcement and maintain public safety in Indian Country.

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DOJ Statement of Principles and Tribal Consultation Policy

The Department of Justice’s Statement of Principles was developed to guide and inform all of the Department's interactions with federally recognized Indian tribes.

Department of Justice Policy Statement on Tribal Consultation, August 29, 2013

DOJ Listening Sessions on Tribal Law Enforcement

The Department of Justice has scheduled a series of listening sessions as part of the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety (Task Force). The Department of Justice invites Tribal leaders and representatives from Tribal law enforcement to participate in these listening sessions to discuss law enforcement and violent crime in Indian country. Attorney General Sessions recognizes that is it crucial for Tribal police to have the right tools to fight crime and maintain public safety in your communities. The Department of Justice is committed to working with Tribes to provide greater access to technology, information and necessary enforcement.

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DOJ’s "A Turning in the Tide" video

Watch the video "A Turning in the Tide" about Robert F. Kennedy's historic 1963 speech to the National Congress of American Indians and how the Justice Department is working today more than ever to fulfill its commitment to foster equal justice, safety, partnership and self-government in Native American communities.