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Tribal Jurisdiction Program

The Grants to Tribal Governments to Exercise Special Tribal Criminal Jurisdiction (Tribal Jurisdiction Program) provides support and technical assistance to Indian tribes for planning and implementing changes in their criminal justice systems necessary to exercise “special tribal criminal jurisdiction” (STCJ) and funds to exercise the jurisdiction.

Prior to the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013), if a victim was Indian and the perpetrator was non-Indian, the crime could be prosecuted only by the United States or, in some circumstances, by the state in which the tribe’s Indian Country is located. VAWA 2013 included a provision recognizing the authority of participating tribes to exercise “special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction” over certain defendants, regardless of their Indian or non-Indian status, who commit crimes of domestic violence or dating violence or violate certain protection orders in Indian Country. The Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022 expanded this jurisdiction to cover additional crimes, including assault of tribal justice personnel, child violence, obstruction of justice, sexual violence, sex trafficking, and stalking and renamed it to “special tribal criminal jurisdiction."

The Tribal Jurisdiction Program is designed to enhance the ability of tribes to implement and exercise STCJ. The program encourages collaborations among tribal leadership, courts, prosecutors, attorneys, defenders, law enforcement, probation, victim services providers, and other partners to ensure that victims find safety and justice and that non-Indians who commit the covered crimes in the Indian Country of the tribe are held accountable.

Eligible applicants are limited to: governments of Indian tribes that have jurisdiction over Indian country.

In 2022, the Tribal Jurisdiction Program gave out four awards, totaling over $1.5 million.

Once posted, the solicitation to apply for this program can be found on OVW’s website. Members of the public can also sign up for notifications on that website, and grant announcements are posted to OVW’s Twitter.

This program is authorized by the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended, 25 U.S.C. § 1304(h)(2).

Tribal Jurisdiction Awards

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Educational SE, The Scottsdale Arizona $449,999
Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes Poplar Montana $186,365
Muscogee (Creek) Nation, The Okmulgee Oklahoma $449,976
Klamath Tribes, The Chiloquin Oregon $447,256
  Total Award Amount   $1,533,596
  Total Number of Awards   4

Penobscot Indian Nation Indian Island Maine $433,731.00
Comanche Nation Lawton Oklahoma $299,960.00
  Total Award Amount   $733,691.00
  Total Number of Awards 2

Pauma Band of Mission Indians Pauma Valley California $363,223
Nez Perce Tribe Lapwai Idaho $385,906
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians Peshawbestown Michigan $300,000
Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians Red Lake Minnesota $296,629
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Choctaw Mississippi $449,722
Pueblo of Tesuque Santa Fe New Mexico $365,665
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Cherokee North Carolina $299,640
Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma Shawnee Oklahoma $407,000
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community La Conner Washington $227,124
Tulalip Tribes of Washington Tulalip Washington $171,549
  Total Award Amount $3,266,458
  Total Number of Awards 10


For awards issued before 2020, you can visit our grant awards program page.

Contact Us

If you have questions about the Tribal Jurisdiction Program, you can email us or call 202-307-6026.