Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation
The Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation (Nation) has received funding from the US Dept. of Justice to build a Regional Tribal Justice Center. These grant awards are designed to help enhance tribal justice systems and strengthen law enforcement responses. The grant was awarded under the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation, or CTAS, a streamlined application which helps tribes apply for tribal-specific grant programs that enhance law enforcement and tribal justice practices, expand victim services, and support prevention and intervention. CTAS grants of $82.2 million are administered by Office of Justice Programs, OJP ($54.49 million) and the Community Oriented PoliciCOPS office ($27.2 million).
Awards were announced last week, at the annual Tribal Consultation with Department of Justice, where Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said "…the Justice Department remains committed to honoring our nation-to-nation partnerships and to making tribal communities safer". The nation will use the funding to build an approximate 7,950 sq. ft., 2-story wing to the south end of the Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation Tribal Headquarters Building. The Headquarters building, which opened in January of this year, was sited and designed to be expanded in phases.
This approved project will enable the nation to create Dee-ni’‘Ee-ta Lhee-wii-dvn (People) (Region/all) (Leveling-up-place), which will serve as a much-needed justice facility for both the Nation’s Tribal Court as well as neighboring and partnering tribes in the Pacific Northwest region, shared the nation's Community Development Director, Tim Hoone.
The nation expects final design and engineering will occur over the next 6 months and hopes to break ground in the Spring of 2023. This will provide much needed space for critical tribal government functions and bring court proceedings to tribal reservation property in Smith River.
With this expansion of tribal sovereignty, the nation looks forward to finding the best interventions and justice for its citizens by implementing strategies that align with our community values and practices — and which honor and preserve culture and tradition. The tribal nation's entire law and justice system will be brought together under the one roof and serve as the first courtroom to serve the Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation with adequate office space for court personnel, surveillance, and video equipment in place to ensure safety and security. In addition, the justice center will serve the Hoopa and Elk Valley tribal nations by providing courtroom space and video conferencing for use by these and other tribal nations for cultural restorative justice activities such as area mediators helping to resolve family disputes.
The Justice Center will also serve as a centralized location for the Northern California Tribal Court Coalition and will provide a convenient place for its regional trainings and a public self-help center. The Justice Center would further be a visible manifestation of tribal law and justice as it will be user friendly with accessible personnel, signage and self-help information and resources to meet the justice needs of our tribal community.
About Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation
The Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation is a federally recognized Indian nation of Tolowa Dee-ni' People. The nation is headquartered three miles south of the Oregon-California border in the Pacific Northwest of California. The nation's general membership consists of over 1,900 citizens.