Tribal Consultations & Advisory Groups

Consultation on Violence against Women and Girls in Indian Country

On June 29, 2016, President Obama traveled to Ottawa for the North American Leaders’ Summit (NALS) to meet with the President of Mexico and the Canadian Prime Minister to discuss a variety of topics impacting our shared borders. Among the many commitments announced at the NALS was a tri-lateral commitment to address the high levels of violence against indigenous women and girls that exist across North America. All three countries agreed that the high levels of violence endured by indigenous women and girls across the region warrants increased attention and coordination, resulting in the formation of the new North American Working Group on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls (the Working Group). The Working Group will meet for the first time in October in Washington, D.C. when government officials from Mexico and Canada will join the U.S. government to exchange knowledge, share best practices, and improve cross-border coordination in preventing and responding to violence against indigenous women and girls.

In preparation for the launch of this Working Group, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) invites you to provide input on key considerations regarding violence against Alaska Native and American Indian women and girls relevant to the objectives of the Working Group. To that end, DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) is hosting listening sessions with officials of federally recognized Indian tribes to discuss challenges presented by the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders in preventing and responding to this violence.

Invitation | Framing Paper

Consultation on Public Safety in Alaska

As originally announced on July 8, 2016, pursuant to the Attorney General’s visit to Alaska on June 10, 2016, and in accordance with Executive Order 13175 and the Department of Justice's Consultation Policy, the Department of Justice will consult with tribal leaders to establish a concrete plan to better address the unique public safety concerns in Alaska Native communities. Alaska presents a law enforcement challenge different from any other place in America. However, the United States, and the Department of Justice, have a trust responsibility to Alaska Native villagers, just as we have to American Indians in the lower 48 states. The Department of Justice is committed to establishing a clear path to more effectively address public safety concerns.

The Department of Justice invites tribal leaders to consult on the viability of creating a new Alaska Native Villages Public-Safety Committee of key stakeholders — Tribal, Federal, and State — not to “study” public-safety issues in Alaska Native villages, but rather to focus on specific, concrete actions that could be taken to address those issues.  This commission would be similar to the Alaska Rural Justice and Law Enforcement Commission that operated from 2004-2012. The second proposal involves the viability of creating a new, high-level position in the Justice Department, to be known as the Senior Counselor for Alaska Native Affairs, to focus full-time on engagement with the Alaska Native community. 

Invitation | Framing Paper

Consultation on Distribution of Volkswagen Settlement Trust

As initially announced on July 8, 2016, the Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency will consult with tribal leaders on the process for distribution of the Tribal Allocation Subaccount of the Environmental Mitigation Trust to be established under a partial settlement of In re Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation.  Under the partial settlement of EPA’s Clean Air Act claims in In re Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, Case No. 15-md-2672 CRB (JSC) (N.D. Cal.), the Settling Defendants are required to establish an Environmental Mitigation Trust (Trust) to fund specific actions to mitigate excess emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the cars subject to the lawsuit by reducing NOx emissions from other sources (Eligible Mitigation Actions).

The Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency invite tribal leaders to consult on a method for allocating annual funding in the Tribal Allocation Subaccount for Eligible Mitigation Actions, for providing technical assistance to tribes, and for recommending candidates to serve as the Trustee. 

Read additional details regarding the issues and the call-in process

Tribal Consultation History

President Obama signed the Memorandum on Tribal Consultation on November 5, 2009. This document  pronounces tribal consultations "a critical ingredient of a sound and productive Federal-tribal relationship." The President further directs all federal agencies to develop a detailed plan of the actions they will take to fully implement President Clinton's Executive Order 13175 on "Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments" within ninety days. Within  270 days and annually thereafter  agencies must provide a progress report on implementation and any updates to the plan. Executive Order 13175 sets forth criteria "to establish regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials in the development of Federal policies that have tribal implications."

The Justice Department embraces this responsibility and the principles of tribal sovereignty and Indian self-determination. The Department has developed a plan as required and, at all levels, is committed to comprehensive communication and coordination policy with tribes predicated on robust tribal input.

Guiding Principles:

Department's efforts are guided by three principles:

  • The Department must engage with tribal nations on a government-to-government basis.
  • Tribal sovereignty and Indian self-determination are now, and must always be, the foundations of every policy or program.
  • Communication and coordination — with our tribal partners, among federal agencies, and with our state and local counterparts — are essential to accountability and thus to success.

Justice Programs Council on Native American Affairs

The Justice Programs Council on Native American Affairs (JPCNAA) is the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) senior-level policy body established in 2005 under an approved charter by the Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Justice Programs to develop consistent tribal justice and safety policy, strategies and enhance coordination across the department.

In January 2007, Council membership was expanded to include all senior-level office leaders, who designated JPCNAA federal staff tribal liaisons from their respective bureaus and offices to remain abreast of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native American affairs. The OJP Assistant Attorney General chairs the council and the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General serves as the Vice-Chair.

The council meets semi-annually. The council helps to identify opportunities, programs, and address issues of concern to Indian Tribes and Native communities, coordinates, outreach and consultation on justice and safety issues affecting the American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native American population nationwide. The JPCNAA also serves as a liaison advisory body to other Department of Justice agencies, bureaus and offices that desire to participate on the council.

OJP Members:

Bureau of Justice Assistance
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Equal Employment Opportunity Office
National Institute of Justice
Office of Administration
Office of Audit and Assessment Management
Office of the Chief Financial Officer
Office of Communications
Office of the Chief Information officer
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Office of the General Counsel
Office for Victims of Crime
Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking Office

Other DOJ Members:

Community Oriented Policing Services
Community Relations Services
Executive Office of United States Attorneys
Federal Bureau of Investigation – Indian Country Unit
Office of Civil Rights
Office of Tribal Justice
Office on Violence Against Women

JPCNAA Charter – Tribal Liaisons and Workgroups:  Section V. Organization

Liaisons:  Each JPCNAA Member shall identify at least one liaison to serve as a liaison to the Council. The Council Liaison must be knowledge about their respective agency’s bureau’s or office’s programs and budgets, have ready access to senior leadership, and be empowered to speak on behalf of their DOJ agency, bureau, or office. Members may identify additional staff members they believe are necessary to perform the JPCNAA liaison functions.

Workgroups or Advisory groups: The JPCNAA may create workgroups and advisory groups to carry out the work of the JPCNAA. Members may identify staff to perform the JPCNAA workgroup or advisory group activities.

JPCNAA Workgroups

JPCNAA Tribal Public Relations, Consultation, Education and Outreach Workgroup
To ensure a coordinated approach for all tribal press and related public relations activities, increase tribal education efforts regarding OJP and other DOJ components, develop internal communications strategy recommendations, and maintain up to date information for the Tribal Justice and Safety Website.

JPCNAA Research, Data Collection and Information Sharing Workgroup
Improve the coordination among OJP and other DOJ components working on Indian country issues to improve the quality, accessibility, and completeness of tribal justice statistics, research, evaluation, information technology, and information sharing.

JPCNAA Youth Initiatives Coordinating Workgroup
Improve coordination and information sharing between OJP and other DOJ components on Department initiatives and programs for youth, e.g., (Tribal Youth program, Drug Endangered Children, AMBER Alert, Defending Childhood, etc.)

JPCNAA Tribal Grants Policy/Training & Technical Assistance Workgroup
Develop a recommended AAG tribal grants policy, coordinate OJP training and technical assistance providers serving Indian country (CTAS), and develop a recommended training & technical assistance process for OJP to implement which can serve as a model for other DOJ components.

JPCNAA Federal Employee/Workforce Native Education & Training Workgroup
Support the Indian Affairs Executive Working Group development of a draft Executive Order/Proclamation and online training program designed for government-wide federal employee/workforce education and training about American Indian, Alaska Native, Native American (AI/AN/NA) tribal governments; and, to provide recommendations to implement the same programs tailored for DOJ purposes.

SUNSETTED: Tribal Justice Advisory Group
The Tribal Justice Advisory Group was established in 2007 to assist the AAG and JPCNAA with tribal advice on justice and safety issues. The Attorney General established a Tribal Nations Leadership Council (TNLC) in 2010. The TJAG was sunset to avoid conflict and duplication, and the TJAG Co-Chairs served as Ex Officio members for the initial TNLC year to assist with transition.

 

Updated September 9, 2016