Holder: DOJ helping tribes reduce violenceby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Obama administration is stepping up efforts to reduce crime in Indian Country.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was in St. Paul Thursday meeting with several hundred tribal leaders from around the country to hear their proposals for improving public safety.
Holder said the Department of Justice is providing almost $400 million to help tribal communities reduce violence on reservations. The Obama administration is also creating a permanent tribal national leadership council that will meet twice a year to coordinate federal and tribal anti-crime efforts.
"It is simply impossible to exaggerate the severity of this issue," Holder said. "Based on data reported by tribes to the bureau of Indian affairs, we have seen violent crime rates in some parts of Indian Country that are two four and sometimes over ten times the national average."
Holder said violence against women is especially rampant in Indian Country.
"Justice in Indian country will not be solved by a single grant a sole piece of legislation or any other quick fix," he said. "These problems are deep seated and they will require a multitude of approaches and a sustained commitment from law enforcement, from tribal leadership and from the inhabitants themselves of the tribal communities."
The attorney general pledged to visit tribal communities around the country over the next year to follow up on Thursday's meeting.