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Press Release


For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
New Mexico Hosts U.S. Attorney General’s Native American Issues Subcommittee and U.S. Attorneys’ Tribal Liaisons

ALBUQUERQUE –The New Mexico U.S. Attorney’s Office is hosting a joint meeting of the U.S. Attorney General’s Native American Issues Subcommittee (NAIS) and U.S. Attorneys’ Tribal Liaisons on Sept. 9 and 10, 2015, in Santa Ana Pueblo.

The NAIS is comprised of 30 U.S. Attorneys from across the United States whose Districts contain Indian Country or one or more federally recognized tribes.  The NAIS focuses exclusively on Indian Country issues, both criminal and civil, and is responsible for making policy recommendations to the U.S. Attorney General regarding public safety and legal issues that impact tribal communities.  Montana U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter serves as Chairman of the NAIS and New Mexico U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez serves as Vice Chairman.

All U.S. Attorneys’ Offices with Indian Country responsibility have at least one Tribal Liaison to serve as the primary point of contact with tribes in the district.  Tribal Liaisons are an important component of the efforts of the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in Indian Country.  The Tribal Liaison position was first established in 1995 and was codified with the passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act.  In addition to their duties as prosecutors, Tribal Liaisons often coordinate and train federal and tribal law enforcement agents on the investigation and prosecution of violent crime and sexual abuse cases in Indian country.

While in New Mexico, the NAIS and Tribal Liaisons will meet with representatives from tribes in New Mexico.  They also will meet with officials from BIA, Indian Health Services, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs and Environmental and Natural Resources Division.

After the joint meeting of the NAIS and Tribal Liaisons, the Tribal Liaisons will participate in a two-day training seminar presented pursuant to the Justice Department’s National Indian Country Training Initiative that provides annual training for Tribal Liaisons covering legal updates as well as best practices for responding to violent crime in Indian Country.  The training seminar also will address topics like Special Law Enforcement Commissions for tribal officers, investigation and prosecution of strangulation assaults, and measuring success in sexual assault prosecutions.

The opening session of the meeting of NAIS and Tribal Liaisons on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, will be open to the press and will include welcoming remarks by Montana U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter, New Mexico U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, and 1st Lt. Governor Antonio Chewiwi of the Pueblo of Isleta.  It also will include remarks by Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn on Progress in Justice Services in Indian Country.  U.S. Attorney Cotter, U.S. Attorney Martinez, Assistant Secretary Washburn, and other Justice Department officials will be available for interviews at the conclusion of the meeting’s opening session.

WHO:             U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter for the District of Montana; U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez for the District of New Mexico; U.S. Attorney Deborah R. Gilg for Nebraska; Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn; Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Sam Hirsch of ENRD

WHAT:          Opening session of Joint Meeting of the Native American Issues; Subcommittee of the U.S. Attorney General’s Advisory Committee; and U.S. Attorneys’ Tribal Liaisons

WHEN:          WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 9, 2015, 8:30 A.M. – 10:00 A.M.

WHERE:       Hyatt Regency Tamaya

1300 Tuyuna Trail

Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico 87004

                        OPEN PRESS

NOTE:  All media must present government-issued photo ID (such as driver’s license) as well as valid media credentials.  Media may begin to arrive at 8:15 a.m.  Inquiries regarding logistics should be directed to Alyssa Ferda at 505-366-1463 or

Updated September 8, 2015