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DOJ schedules hearings on violence against Native children

The Department of Justice will hold four public hearings to examine the impact of violence on American Indian and Alaska Native children, Attorney General Eric Holder said at the White House Tribal Nations Conference on Wednesday.

The first hearing of the task force takes place in Bismarck, North Dakota, on December 9. Additional hearings will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Anchorage, Alaska, in 2014.

“We must not accept the shameful reality that American Indians and Alaska Natives are disproportionately likely to be exposed to crime and violence – and that many who suffer exposure are children,” Holder said in a press release. “By bringing together federal officials, tribal leaders, and local partners to focus on the unique challenges that Indian children face, this task force will enhance public safety. And these leaders will strengthen our communities by ensuring that every child can have the opportunity to learn, to grow, and to thrive – free from violence and fear.”

The task force will be advised by a committee of 12 members. The co-chairs are former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota) and singer Joanne Shenandoah, both of whom attended the Tribal Nations Conference.

"As the task force moves ahead, they’ll continue to work closely with a range of federal leaders to support and strengthen the work you are leading throughout tribal lands," Holder said at the conference.

Get the Story:
Task force on violence against Indian children to meet in Bismarck (The Grand Forks Herald 11/14)
Tribe: Child safety improving as new leadership works to change system on reservation (The Grand Forks Herald 11/14)
UW Professor Joins Task Force On Violence On American Indian Reservations (NWNews 11/14)

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Bill creates national commission to study Native youth issues (10/31)

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