Montana tribe among violence-against-women grant awardees

This spring I wrote a newspaper story about the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes when they submitted a grant application for stimulus money. They were asking for $1 million to offer better protection services for Native women. The word from the Justice Department today is that the tribe received a grant worth more than $800,000, one of the largest grant amounts awarded to grant applicants.

The CSKT of the Flathead Indian Reservation in northwestern Montana will provide “support services for victims, including counseling and weekly support groups. The tribes will also use the funds to collaborate with students and Salish Kootenai College Marketing Committee to establish a campus and community-wide education and prevention campaign for violence against women issues, train service providers on the dynamics of domestic violence and other issues surrounding dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, provide job training for victims, supply transportation and child-care assistance to victims and renovate space so that disabled victims may utilize laundry facilities.”

Here is the Department of Justice press release recieved today:

WASHINGTON – After Department of Justice officials concluded the first of three working sessions on tribal law enforcement issues on Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder today announced that more than $5.6 million in Recovery Act funds was awarded to nine Tribal Governments in five states by the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). The awards were made to Tribal Governments in California, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana and Oklahoma.This award is in addition to the more than $8.9 million in Recovery Act funds that were awarded earlier this week to ten Tribal Governments and ten Tribal Coalitions in Alaska, Arizona, California, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin.

“American Indian and Alaska Native women are more likely to experience sexual assault and domestic violence than women from other racial or ethnic groups, which is why these funds are so vital,” said Attorney General Holder. “As the Department of Justice convenes the Tribal Nations Listening Conference and pre-sessions, these funds are just the beginning of a renewed partnership between the Department and our tribal communities to ensure the safety of every Indian woman and address Tribes’ criminal justice challenges.”

On August 20, 2009, the Justice Department announced the dates of the 2009 Tribal Nations Listening Conference and two preliminary sessions with tribal leaders and experts in law enforcement. The first preliminary session, led by Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden and Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli, was held August 25-26 in Seattle. The Listening Conference is part of an ongoing Justice Department initiative to increase engagement, coordination and action on tribal justice in Indian Country.

The landmark American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed into law by President Obama, provides the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) with $20.8 million for the Indian Tribal Governments Program to decrease the number of violent crimes committed against Indian women, help Indian tribes use their independent authority to respond to crimes of violence against Indian women and make sure that people who commit violent crimes against Indian women are held responsible for their actions. The award period is 36 months.

The Recovery Act provides OVW with $2.8 million for the Tribal Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalitions Program to provide much needed resources for organizing and supporting efforts to end violence against Indian women and provide technical assistance to member programs. The award period is 24 months.

OVW, a component of the U.S. Department of Justice, provides leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to reduce violence against women through the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and subsequent legislation. Created in 1995, OVW administers financial and technical assistance to communities across the country that are developing programs, policies and practices aimed at ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

More information is available at www.ovw.usdoj.gov and additional details, including a chart and project descriptions, follow.

OVW Recovery Act Awards to Tribal Communities

California
Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians $446,700
Strong Hearted Native Women’s Coalition, Inc. of Southern California $355,950

Kansas
Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation $334,630

Mississippi
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians $899,999

Montana
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) of Flathead Indian Reservation $802,642

Oklahoma
Absentee Shawnee Domestic Violence Program $510,000
Citizen Potawatomi Nation $899,999
Comanche Indian Tribe $687,312
Seminole Nation $744,809

TOTAL $5,682,041

Project Descriptions

CALIFORNIA

The Department of Justice is awarding $446,700 to the Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians, based at Big Valley Rancheria in rural Lake County in northern California, to provide community resource and referral information services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and provide emergency food and clothing to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, or offer referrals to service providers. The funds will also be used to provide domestic violence counseling services or offer referrals to service providers, coordinate tribal, jurdisdictional and non-tribal victim service programs for Indian women by establishing formal MOUs and develop a comprehensive public education and outreach campaign to raise awareness.

The Department of Justice is awarding $355,950 to the Strong Hearted Native Women’s Coalition, Inc. of Southern California to provide victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and dating violence access to state law enforcement and prosecution services for increased accountability of offenders, access the National Sex Offender Registration and Notification System and offer advocacy referrals to sister agencies in the region. Strong Hearted Native Women’s Coalition will partner with the Pauma Band of Mission Indians.

KANSAS

The Department of Justice is awarding $334,630 to the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, located in Jackson County, to hire an Outreach Coordinator to provide services for the youth in the Northeast Kansas Native American community and hire a victim advocate to respond to crisis calls, perform advocacy duties on behalf of the program’s participants, and assist the Family Violence Prevention staff in efforts to raise community awareness of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

MISSISSIPPI

The Department of Justice is awarding $899,999 to the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, in east-central Mississippi to meet the holistic needs of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault by establishing a domestic violence shelter on the Choctaw Reservation. The tribe will provide on-going training and consultation to shelter staff and law enforcement in order to provide culturally-appropriate services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, implement delivery of shelter services and institute evaluation procedures of shelter services in order to ensure safety of women and their children. The tribe will also hire a full-time Shelter Director to provide daily operational oversight of the services and quality standards of the shelter, hire a Child Services Specialist to plan, organize and implement programming for children services at the shelter and hire a total of 5 Residential Aides (3 full-time, 2 part-time) to staff the shelter, provide assistance to clients and maintain a crisis hotline.

MONTANA

The Department of Justice is awarding $802,642 to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) of Flathead Indian Reservation in northwestern Montana to provide support services for victims, including counseling and weekly support groups. The tribes will also use the funds to collaborate with students and Salish Kootenai College Marketing Committee to establish a campus and community-wide education and prevention campaign for violence against women issues, train service providers on the dynamics of domestic violence and other issues surrounding dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, provide job training for victims, supply transportation and child-care assistance to victims and renovate space so that disabled victims may utilize laundry facilities.

OKLAHOMA

The Department of Justice is awarding $510,000 to Absentee Shawnee Domestic Violence Program to provide transitional housing services to eligible clients who live in the service area of Potawatomi, Cleveland or Oklahoma County and are members of Federally Recognized Tribes. The funding will also be used to hire a Transitional Housing Manager to develop forms, policies and procedures in order to become a state-certified shelter and hire and train two part-time Transitional Housing Advocates to comply with state regulations for the operation of a transitional housing program. The program will also use the funds to establish MOUs with four area partners, rent facilities suitable to house women and their children and complete interior furnishings and security enhancements.

The Department of Justice is awarding $899,999 to the Citizen Potawatomi Nation in Shawnee to create two new full-time staff positions to provide direct services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and provide 15 training stipends, on an annual basis, in order to facilitate victim recovery and encourage victims to obtain economic independence from abusers by attending job training courses designed to upgrade basic academics, life skills, job readiness and vocational training and prepare for employment.

The Department of Justice is awarding $687,312 to the Comanche Indian Tribe in Lawton to hire a full-time Case Management Specialist to provide assistance to victims in need of counseling, support services, and transitional housing, hire a full-time victim advocate to provide support services to victims transitioning from temporary to permanent housing as well as during transition and after-care and hire a full-time administrative assistant to maintain client files.

The Department of Justice is awarding $744,809 to the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma to provide adequate staffing to operate a domestic violence emergency shelter and establish shelter policies, procedures and criteria, thereby enhancing the tribe’s capacity to provide a safe, supportive facility for victims and families. The funds will also be used to collaborate with other tribal, local and state service providers to develop and enhance effective strategies to provide services to victims, establish and furnished a tribally-operated emergency shelter to make short-term emergency housing available for Native victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence victims and provide comprehensive emergency services to victims that are culturally specific.

Jodi Rave

Jodi Rave

Jodi Rave Spotted Bear is the publisher of the Buffalo's Fire.

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1 Response

  1. James W. Zion says:

    While it is good that various programs got the grants, they are not what the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination had in mind when it recommended that the United States provide such grants as part of a comprehensive effort to address sexual violence against Native women. All tribes and urban Indian communities should have such grants.

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