CN awarded federal funds to help fight crime, assist victims
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation was awarded nearly $800,000 by the U.S. Department of Justice in October to improve public safety and serve crime victims.
The CN’s $794,575 is part of the DOJ’s larger $273.4 million award to tribes across the country, including 15 in Oklahoma.
“The Cherokee Nation will use these funds to better protect our tribal lands and citizens as part of our fight against opioid and methamphetamine use and the potential criminal activity associated with it,” Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. stated in a news release. “Our Cherokee Nation marshals patrol 4.4 million rural acres within our Cherokee Nation tribal boundaries, and we will use these dollars to upgrade radio equipment and smartphone devices so that our marshals can more quickly and effectively connect or call in local law enforcement agencies for quicker assistance. Arming our protectors with the latest technology is essential for us to be proactive in ending this national epidemic in Indian Country.”
The grant recipients were announced Oct. 18.
“Violent crime and domestic abuse in American Indian and Alaska Native communities remain at unacceptably high levels, and they demand a response that is both clear and comprehensive,” U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr stated in the news release. “We will continue to work closely with our tribal partners to guarantee they have the resources they need to curb violence and bring healing to the victims most profoundly affected by it.”
More than $3.1 million in grant funding was shared between the CN and three other tribes in the northern district of Oklahoma – Delaware Tribe, Quapaw Tribe and Wyandotte Nation.
According to the DOJ, the Quapaw Tribe received $955,668 for corrections and correctional alternatives from the Bureau of Justice Assistance and $613,860 for tribal victim services. The Delaware Tribe received $672,192 for tribal victim services, and the Wyandotte Nation received $132,648 for public safety and community policing.
Nationwide, 236 grants were awarded to 149 American Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages and other tribal designees.
The CN is also receiving $719,994 in grant funding through a separate program “to improve services for victims of crime in tribal communities,” according to the DOJ.
“Under this program, the Office of Justice Program’s Office for Victims of Crime directly awarded nearly $107.3 million to 175 applicants to help tribes develop, expand and improve services to victims of crime,” a news release stated.
According to the DOJ, funding is typically intended for three-year projects that assist tribal sex-trafficking victims, help children abused or neglected due to the parents’ opioid addiction, address elder abuse and more.