Tester Secures $9.3 Million for Montana Tribal Justice Programs

Tester has led the charge to improve public safety and support victims of crime in Indian Country

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced $9,362,160 in Department of Justice (DOJ) funds for Tribal Justice Programs across Montana.

“The federal government has a responsibility to ensure that folks in Indian Country are safe and that victims of crime have the resources they need to get back on their feet,” said Tester. “This funding will help make sure we honor that commitment to Montana’s Tribal nations, but we have to do more. I’m going to keep pushing folks in Washington to keep Native communities front and center when it comes to providing resources for Tribal justice and public safety programs, and combating the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons crisis.”

The funds will be awarded to six Montana Tribes as well as to the University of Montana and the Montana Legal Services Association for a range of Tribal justice and victims services programs, including:

Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes:

  • $393,597 for Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Courts
  • $742,865 for Tribal Justice Systems
  • $145,205 for Comprehensive Tribal Justice Systems Strategic Planning
  • $879,900 for Tribal Justice System Infrastructure Program
  • $438,209 for the Tribe’s Rural Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating

Violence and Stalking program

  • $655,623 for the Victims’ Assistance Program from the Office of Violence Against Women

Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes:

  • $778,016 for victims’ services through the Tribal Crime Victims Fund
  • $416,030 for truancy prevention and intervention services that promote school attendance

Blackfeet Tribe:

  • $1,188,088 for Tribal Victim Services to extend services to include men and their families, elders and LGBQ victims

Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy Reservation:

  • $478,311 for Tribal Victim Services

Fort Belknap Indian Community:

  • $694,698 for Tribal Victims Services to improve the mental, physical, and spiritual health of individuals, families, and the community by improving services to victims of crime and their families.

Crow Tribe:

  • $898,003 for Crime Victims Fund for Tribal Victim Services

Montana Legal Services Association:

  • $150,000 for criminal legal assistance for Tribes
  • $150,000 for civil legal assistance for Tribes

University of Montana:

  • $1,000,000 for training and technical assistance to expand Children’s Advocacy Centers that service American Indian and Alaska Native communities

Montana Native Women’s Coalition:

  • $353,615 for training and technical assistance to Tribal Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault programs

As a member of the Senate Appropriations and Indian Affairs Committees, Tester is committed to standing up for Tribal sovereignty, providing funding for Tribal justice programs, and increasing public safety in Indian County. He secured a five-percent Crime Victim Fund set-aside for Tribes, providing resources to help prosecute criminals and assist survivors of violent crimes, and introduced the SURVIVE Act to make the set-aside permanent. He is also pushing Leader McConnell to pass the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019, which would strengthen Tribal justice systems and expand Tribal jurisdiction over domestic violence crimes and crimes against children and Tribal law enforcement officers.

Tester has relentlessly pushed for his bipartisan legislation Savanna’s Act and the Not Invisible Act, which he originally introduced in 2017 and 2019 respectively, signed into law. These bills will address the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women crisis by bolstering data collection and information sharing between Tribes and law enforcement agencies and strengthening violent crime prevention efforts on Tribal lands. The bills have passed both the House and the Senate, and now await the President’s signature.