The Department of Justice has announced almost a dozen monetary awards to be distributed to tribal authorities across the United States to aid internal domestic abuse resources.

The DOJ offered 11 tribes one-year funding awards on Wednesday as part of its Tribal Jurisdiction Program. The system aims at providing "support and technical assistance to Indian tribes for planning and implementing changes in their criminal justice systems necessary to exercise 'special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction' (SDVCJ) and funds to exercise the jurisdiction." 

"We heard from tribal leaders that they need access to funds to support the day-to-day costs of SDVCJ, and I’m pleased to announce OVW is issuing 11 awards to implementing tribes to defray these costs," said OVW principal deputy director Allison Randall. "OVW is dedicated to working with tribes to address challenges in protecting victims and responding to offenders in their communities, as well as supporting tribal sovereignty."


The Tribal Jurisdiction program and its related awards seek to provide tribal governments more autonomous jurisdiction over Indian country. The program allows for tribal governments to arrest and prosecute individuals for certain crimes committed in Indian country "regardless of their Indian or non-Indian status." Authority over domestic violence in Indian country was granted to tribal governments in The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.

Event to mark Indigenous People's day is held in Austin Javier Flores of Danza Azteca Guadalupana performs during an event to mark Indigenous Peoples' day at the capitol grounds in Austin, Texas, U.S., October 9, 2021. REUTERS/Pu Ying Huang

Events celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day are held on the Capitol grounds in Austin, Texas, on Oct. 9, 2021.  (REUTERS/Pu Ying Huang)

Tribes receiving the award include: Chickasaw Nation, Oklahoma; Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, North Carolina; Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, Montana; Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Oklahoma; Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, Michigan; Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Arizona; Port Gamble S’klallam Tribe, Washington; Pueblo of Santa Clara, New Mexico; Seminole Nation of Oklahoma; the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma; and the Tulalip Tribes of Washington.


This year, President Biden became the first president to mark the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day with a presidential proclamation.

"For generations, Federal policies systematically sought to assimilate and displace Native people and eradicate Native cultures," Biden wrote. "Today, we recognize Indigenous peoples’ resilience and strength as well as the immeasurable positive impact that they have made on every aspect of American society."

Jon Brown contributed reporting to this article.