Char-Koosta News: Tester secures nearly $5 million for domestic violence and child abuse victim support in Indian Country
U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced $4,756,073 for eleven Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grants to provide support for domestic violence and child abuse victims on reservations across Montana.
The first set of DOJ grants are a part of the Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside Formula Grant Program, and will be received by the Blackfeet Tribe, Northern Cheyenne Boys and Girls Club, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT), Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, and the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy Reservation. The second set of DOJ grants are a part of the 2021 Children’s Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities program, and will be received by the CSKT and the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes.
The first set of HHS grants are a part of the Family Violence Prevention and Services (FVPS) program, and will be received by the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center in Lame Deer, the headquarters of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. The second set of HHS grants are a part of the Community Health Aide Program and will be received by the Fort Belknap Indian Community.
“Tribal governments and organizations are leading the way in preventing domestic violence, child abuse, and supporting victims, and this funding will ensure that they have the resources they need,” said Tester. “Domestic violence, child abuse, and the MMIP epidemic go hand in hand, and making sure that victims have safety and support is essential to combatting these issues and honoring our trust and treaty responsibilities to Tribes.”
The grant funding includes:
Department of Justice Crime Victims Fund Tribal Set-Aside Grants:
- $422,695 for CSKT
- $543,066 for Blackfeet Tribe
- $472,469 for Northern Cheyenne Boys and Girls Club
- $422,694 for Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes
- $371,289 for the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy Reservation
Department of Justice Children’s Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities Grants:
- $323,860 for Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes
- $450,000 for CSKT
Health and Human Services FVPS Grants to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center:
- $450,000 to support the Capacity Building Center on Safe and Supportive Housing for Domestic Violence Survivors in Tribal Communities (Tribal Safe Housing Center)
- $1,300,000 for the National Indian Resource Center to address domestic violence
Tester has been working diligently to ensure that Montana victims of crime have the resources they need to get back on their feet. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee he has secured a five percent Crime Victims Fund set-aside for Tribes since 2018. He also helped pass the bipartisan VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act, to protect the solvency of the fund and make an additional $4 to $7 billion of non-taxpayer money available to crime victim service providers over the next few years by allowing fines from non-prosecution and deferred prosecution agreements to be deposited in the Fund.
As the former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Tester has also consistently fought to provide Tribal governments and organizations with the resources they need to reduce crime and tackle the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Persons (MMIP) epidemic. He led the Senate passage of Savanna’s Act and the Not Invisible Act, both of which were signed into law in October of 2020, improving information sharing and collaboration between Tribal and federal law enforcement agencies.