National Native American Heritage Month
Every November, we commemorate National Native American Heritage Month. In his proclamation, President Trump states “This month, as we recommit to supporting Native American Tribes and people, we resolve to work side-by-side with their leaders to secure stronger, safer communities and preserve their sacred heritage for future generations.”
The Department of Justice has a long-standing commitment to improving public safety for American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
In October 2020, the Department of Justice announced approximately $118 million in Office for Victims of Crime funding to help tribal communities—
- assist child victims in child abuse and neglect cases,
- develop a workforce of victim service providers in hard-to-staff positions and locations, and
- expand and improve victim service programs.
Learn more on our grant awards page.
The Office for Victims of Crime holds periodic Tribal Consultations and listening sessions with tribal leaders, representatives, and stakeholders to discuss the programming needs for crime victims’ services throughout tribal communities. These consultations are instrumental to inform the office’s administration of the Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside grant program.
If you were unable to attend the consultation, the Office for Victims of Crime strongly encourages tribal leaders, representatives, and stakeholders to submit written comments. Comments must be submitted to the Office for Victims of Crime by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on Thursday, December 10, 2020. Visit Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside page for more information.
The Tribal Financial Management Center is supported by the Office for Victims of Crime and offers free training and technical assistance to help tribal grantees understand their financial management and reporting requirements. Visit the Tribal Financial Management Center website to learn more.
In 2019, President Trump signed an Executive Order that formed the Task Force on Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives, also known as Operation Lady Justice. Through Operation Lady Justice, the Department of Justice is establishing multidisciplinary and multijurisdictional teams to review cold cases that involve missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives, strengthening law enforcement protocols, and working with tribes to improve investigations and information sharing. More information about the Task Force is available on the Operation Lady Justice website.
The Office for Victims of Crime has also produced Tribal Multimedia Resources, which can be used throughout this commemorative month and beyond:
- Alcohol-Facilitated Sexual Assault in Indian Country
- A Circle of Healing for Native Children Endangered by Drugs
- A Healing Journey for Alaska Natives
- Partners in Justice—Bureau of Indian Affairs Victim Specialists
- Using Federal Law To Prosecute Domestic Violence Crimes in Indian Country
Visit our American Indians/Alaska Natives Victim Services Resources for additional information.
Participate in a Self-Paced, Online Victim Assistance Training
The Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center’s Victim Assistance Training Online is a foundational Web-based victim assistance training program. This free, self-paced training offers victim service providers and allied professionals the opportunity to acquire the essential skills and knowledge they need to assist victims of crime more effectively.
It features real-life scenarios and engaging videos in four areas:
- The Basics section includes information that all victim service providers must know, including victims’ rights and the justice system, which provides a foundation for victim services.
- The Core Competencies and Skills section includes modules such as basic communication skills, confidentiality, and advocacy.
- The Crimes section includes the characteristics and prevalence of crime, and other information about crimes including sexual assault, elder abuse, and child abuse.
- The Specific Considerations for Providing Victim Services section includes information and skills to serve specific populations, including American Indians and Alaska Natives, children and youth, and persons with disabilities.
Visit the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center website to find more training and technical assistance opportunities.