Friday, 23 February 2024

Big Valley Rancheria receives Recovery Act Grants to combat violence against women

WASHINGTON – After Department of Justice officials concluded the first of three working sessions on tribal law enforcement issues Aug. 26, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that more than $5.6 million in Recovery Act funds was awarded to nine tribal governments in five states by the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).

The awards were made to tribal governments in California, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana and Oklahoma.

The tribal governments that received the grants included the Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians, based at Big Valley Rancheria in Lakeport, which received $446,700.

The grant will provide community resource and referral information services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and provide emergency food and clothing to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, or offer referrals to service providers.

The funds awarded to Big Valley also will be used to provide domestic violence counseling services or offer referrals to service providers, coordinate tribal, jurdisdictional and non-tribal victim service programs for Indian women by establishing formal memorandums of understanding and develop a comprehensive public education and outreach campaign to raise awareness.

These tribal awards are in addition to the more than $8.9 million in Recovery Act funds that were awarded earlier this week to 10 tribal governments and 10 tribal coalitions in Alaska, Arizona, California, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin.

“American Indian and Alaska Native women are more likely to experience sexual assault and domestic violence than women from other racial or ethnic groups, which is why these funds are so vital,” said Attorney General Holder. “As the Department of Justice convenes the Tribal Nations Listening Conference and pre-sessions, these funds are just the beginning of a renewed partnership between the Department and our tribal communities to ensure the safety of every Indian woman and address Tribes’ criminal justice challenges.”

The landmark American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed into law by President Obama, provides the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) with $20.8 million for the Indian Tribal Governments Program to decrease the number of violent crimes committed against Indian women, help Indian tribes use their independent authority to respond to crimes of violence against Indian women and make sure that people who commit violent crimes against Indian women are held responsible for their actions. The award period is 36 months.

The Recovery Act provides OVW with $2.8 million for the Tribal Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalitions Program to provide much needed resources for organizing and supporting efforts to end violence against Indian women and provide technical assistance to member programs. The award period is 24 months.

OVW, a component of the U.S. Department of Justice, provides leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to reduce violence against women through the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and subsequent legislation. Created in 1995, OVW administers financial and technical assistance to communities across the country that are developing programs, policies and practices aimed at ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

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