Tribe gets $1.1M in grants
Federal assistance will go toward justice center, elders social services
The Yurok Tribe will be getting $1.1 million of the more than $5 million in federal grants to announced earlier this month to improve public safety and victim services for North Coast tribes.
Other North Coast tribes awarded Justice Department cash in this year’s grant cycle include the Hoopa Valley Tribe, $1.2 million; $1,7 million for Hopland Band of Pomo Indians; $668,816 for Round Valley Indian Tribes and $150,906 for Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians.
“This federal assistance will go far in helping tribes throughout my district hire police officers, assist victims, and keep tribal lands safe,” Congressman Jared Huffman said.
The Yurok Tribe’s award includes two grants. Slightly more than $1 million is a Corrections and Correctional Alternatives grant toward an addition to the tribe’s new Justice Center for Yurok Public Safety. Another $389,046 Comprehensive Tribal Victim Assistance Program grant is earmarked for the tribe’s social service for elders program, according to tribal officials.
The Yurok Tribe received the third largest grant to Indian tribes in the state behind the Bishop Paiute Tribe with $2.5 million and Hopland Band of Pomo Indians.
The Yurok Tribe has received more than $7.7 million from the Department of Justice since 2010 when the department launched the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation program, which streamlines the ability for American Indian tribes to apply for grants meant to improve criminal justice and public safety needs in Indian country. Justice received 200 more funding requests after implementing the program in 2010. The program was launched in response to input from tribal leaders to Justice at the start of President Barack Obama’s presidency.
In 2010, Congress passed the Tribal Law and Order Act, which sought to address higher rates of violent crime seen in Indian country. Establishing alternative methods to incarceration is a major focus of the act.
“Violent crime rates in Indian country are more than 2.5 times the national rate; some reservations face more than 20 times the national rate of violence,” according to a Justice summary of the Tribal Law and Order Act.
Previous grants helped the Yurok Tribe build a 3,500-square foot Yurok Justice Center, which houses the Yurok Wellness Court, Tribal Court, Family Court and the Yurok Youth Wellness Court.
Many services offered by Yurok Tribal Court integrate “culturally-based, wellness-focused” approaches to public safety and justice matters, according to a May Yurok newsletter, announcing the ribbon-cutting of the facility in May 2015.
“The Yurok Justice Center is a symbol of our sovereignty and desire to define our own destiny,” said Yurok Chief Justice Abby Abinanti, in the newsletter.