The Department of Justice on September 18 announced that $1 million in grant funding was awarded to the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.
The funding under the DOJ’s Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) will go towards two projects the Central Council has planned – Children’s Justice Act and Tribal Youth Prevention.
Over $97.3 million dollars was awarded to American Indian and Alaska Native tribes to boost law enforcement, improve tribal courts, combat violence against women, address substance abuse, assist youth and provide services to victims of crime. In Alaska, 17 tribes were awarded funding including the Organized Village of Kake and Metlakatla Indian Community.
The Council’s Children’s Justice Act received $450,000 to assist in developing and implementing a multi-year program of training and system improvements within the Tribal Family and Youth Services department. The three-year project will support the investigation, prosecution, and treatment of cases of serious child abuse, neglect, and child sexual abuse within the service area of Juneau, Alaska.
“The project model will assess the status and resources of the TFYS department’s ICWA program and services in its first year, develop and implement the training and system improvements necessary to address gaps in services in its second year, and disseminate the materials and improvements to other tribes and organizations who are faced with similar challenges in the area of child and family services in the final year of the project,” according to a DOJ release.
Another $550,002 will assist in the Central Council’s three-year Tribal Youth Prevention and Delinquency Diversion project. The project will identify Native youth between the ages of 12-18 who are at risk for delinquency, academic failure, substance abuse, and involved with the juvenile justice system.
“The program will provide advocacy services to court-involved youth, work to enhance the Tribal Court to provide for family-related issues in the context of the tribe's cultural values, and offer mentoring, tutoring, and work study project options to youth and families,” the release stated.
The Tribal Youth Prevention project will allow the Central Council to develop the full capabilities of its Tribal Court to provide peacemaking circles and diversion efforts for tribal youth in legal distress.
Both projects aim to enhance Southeast Alaska’s juvenile justice system.