Tester Secures More Than $7.8 Million for Tribal Justice and Victim Services in Montana

Funding to improve public safety and support victims of crime in Indian country

As a part of his continued work with Tribes in Montana to improve public safety, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today secured $7,887,722 in funding to strengthen law enforcement, address the crisis of violence against Indian women, and expand services for victims of crime in Indian Country.

As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester secured these funds through last year’s Fiscal Year 2023 government funding bill. He was the only member of the Montana delegation to support the legislation.

“From lawmakers to government agencies to law enforcement, we’ve got to stand with folks in Indian Country to combat the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples (MMIP) – and it’s our responsibility to keep Native communities front and center in this fight,” said Tester. “I was proud to secure this funding going towards vital programs in Indian Country to strengthen law enforcement, support Tribal justice programs, crack down on illegal drug use, connect victims of crime to the resources they need, and fight the MMIP crisis. Together, we’ll keep working towards a safer tomorrow in Native American communities while upholding our trust and treaty responsibilities to Indian Country.”

This funding comes from the Department of Justice (DOJ), and have been awarded as follows:

  • $997,581 for Northern Cheyenne 
  • $830,000 for Blackfeet to fill jurisdictional gaps on the reservation and prosecute MMIP-related crimes
  • $449,992 for Northern Cheyenne to expand services for child abuse and neglect 
  • $99,948 for Northern Cheyenne to improve and enhance its Tribal juvenile justice systems
  • $99,995 for Rocky Boy for the Chippewa Cree Tribe (CCT) Tribal Youth Program
  • $2,196,000 for Montana Legal Services Association (MSLA) and the National Association of Indian Legal Services (NAILS) programs to provide criminal and civil legal assistances to Tribal members
  • $1,335,237.00 for Rocky Boy for Chippewa Cree Law Enforcement Services to improve the prison and increase safety for staff, prisoners, and the public
  • $500,000 for Crow to support Tribal youth with behavioral and emotional support challenges
  • $149,831.00 for Northern Cheyenne to strengthen Tribal justice systems
  • $600,000 for Montana Innocence Project to review equity in access and outcomes for Indigenous clients
  • $629,138 for Northern Cheyenne to expand community policing implementation, personnel hiring, and equipment needs

As a member of the Indian Affairs Committee and a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester is committed to standing up for Tribal sovereignty, providing funding for Tribal justice programs, and increasing public safety in Indian County. He secured more than $355 million to support public safety and address the MMIP crisis in the 2023 government funding bill.

Tester also championed the passage of his bipartisan Savanna’s Act and the Not Invisible Act, which he originally introduced in 2017 and 2019 respectively. These bills were signed into law in 2020 and 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.


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