Justice Department Awards $177 Million to Assist Crime Victims and Improve Public Safety in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities

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The DOJ logo is pictured on a wall after a news conference in New York

PORTLAND, Ore.—On November 15, 2021, the Department of Justice announced that it will award more than $177 million to improve public safety and serve crime victims in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

More than $73 million will be awarded to 84 different Tribal communities and commissions under the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS), a streamlined grant application program managed by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) and the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). The CTAS program helps tribes apply for Tribal-specific grant programs seeking to enhance law enforcement and justice practices, expand victim services and sustain crime prevention and intervention efforts.

Of this total, $3.5 million will be awarded to three Oregon tribes and one Oregon tribal commission: the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon, the Coquille Indian Tribe, the Klamath Tribes, and the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission.

The COPS Office also awarded $400,000 to Western Oregon University to develop a structured and Tribal-centered approach to enhancing the criminal justice system’s ability to address the tragic and ongoing trend of missing and murdered indigenous persons (MMIP).

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) will award an additional $104 million to more 140 tribes and Tribal programs across the country—including two Oregon tribes—under the Crime Victims Fund Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside program. The Cow Creek Bank of Umpqua Tribe of Indians and the Klamath Tribes will each receive $387,817 to fund culturally-appropriate victim services to meet the needs of their communities.

“American Indian and Alaska Native crime victims deserve the same access to services and the same level of support available to survivors in other communities,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “This administration, and this Department of Justice, are committed to fully discharging our responsibilities to Indian nations, especially to those who have experienced the pain and loss that follow victimization. These funds will help establish, expand and enhance services that are vital to recovery and healing.”

“Supporting and enhancing public safety in Tribal communities is a top priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon and has been for many years. We are very pleased to join the COPS Office, OJP, and OVC in announcing these important awards and congratulate all award recipients in Oregon,” said Scott Erik Asphaug, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. 

This announcement is part of the Justice Department’s ongoing commitment to increasing engagement, coordination and action on public safety in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.