During a two-day conference this week, the Tribal Nations Leadership Council (TNLC) met virtually with senior Justice Department officials, covering a range of issues, challenges and opportunities for American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes.
Yesterday, the TNLC met with Attorney General Merrick. B. Garland and Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. The Office of Tribal Justice and the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) discussed with the TNLC the implementation of guidelines under Savanna’s Act and Tribal Community Response Plans developed in response to the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People. The TNLC also discussed the impact of the expansion of Tribal jurisdiction under the recently reauthorized Violence Against Women Act.
On Tuesday, May 17, the TNLC met with the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), about the department’s grant opportunities to enhance public safety in Tribal communities, and with the Office for Victims of Crime and EOUSA on efforts to assist crime victims and address violence.
The TNLC is composed of Tribal leaders representing American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native villages from regions around the country. This meeting, the first in more than four years, was announced in January by the Attorney General in remarks to the National Congress of American Indians. The Council is comprised of elected Tribal officials, nominated by their peers to represent their region.
Established by charter in 2010, the TNLC is charged with providing perspective on emergent and ongoing issues across Indian country as well as providing feedback on Justice Department activities in support of Tribes in each region. In addition to establishing a mechanism for regular insight and accountability, the structure of the group honors the government-to-government relationship with Tribes.