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DOJ awards grants to address violence in Bakken energy region






The logo of the First Nations Women's Alliance in North Dakota. Image from Facebook

The Department of Justice awarded $3 million in grants to combat domestic and sexual violence in the Bakken energy region of Montana and North Dakota.

Two tribes and one Native organization were among the seven grantees. Associate Attorney General Tony West said the money will help address "escalated rates of violence," including crimes against Native women, in an area he visited earlier this year.

"We met with service providers from around the state who told us of their inability to absorb the sudden increase in demand for victim's services," West said at the 22nd annual Four Corners Conference in Arizona on Tuesday, according to his prepared remarks. "And I heard tragic stories of sexual exploitation suffered by women and girls."

The Fort Peck Tribes of Montana, the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation in North Dakota and the First Nations Women's Alliance in North Dakota received grants. The two tribes are receiving $450,000 each for a special prosecutor who will focus on violence against Native women.

The announcement came as Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana), the chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, prepares to hold a listening session on human trafficking in Indian Country. One focus will be domestic and sexual violence in the Bakken region.

The session, which is open to the public, takes place at the Fort Peck Community College tomorrow afternoon.

Get the Story:
$3M in grants to go to fight violence against women in Bakken (The Dickinson Press 8/26)

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Sen. Jon Tester to hold session on trafficking in Indian Country (8/26)