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Fort Peck Tribes To Receive Funds For Crime Victims

The Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes will receive $422,694 in Department of Justice crime victims fund tribal set aside grants.

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., has announced $4,756,073 for 11 Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services grants to provide support for domestic violence and child abuse victims on reservations across Montana.

“I think it’s great,” Fort Peck tribal chairman Floyd Azure said of the funding. “We need this. We have a lot of crime here and a lot of people don’t get compensated.”

In addition, the Fort Peck Tribes will receive $323,860 in Department of Justice Children’s Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities grants.

“Tribal governments and organizations are leading the way in preventing domestic violence, child abuse, and supporting victims, and this funding will ensure that they have the resources they need,” Tester said. “Domestic violence, child abuse, and the MMIP epidemic go hand in hand, and making sure that victims have safety and support is essential to combating these issues and honoring our trust and treaty responsibilities to Tribes.”

Tester has been working diligently to ensure that Montana victims of crime have the resources they need to get back on their feet. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee he has secured a 5 percent Crime Victims Fund setaside for Tribes since 2018. He also helped pass the bipartisan VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act, to protect the solvency of the fund and make an additional $4 to $7 billion of non-taxpayer money available to crime victim service providers over the next few years by allowing fines from non-prosecution and deferred prosecution agreements to be deposited in the fund.

As the former chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Tester has also consistently fought to provide Tribal governments and organizations with the resources they need to reduce crime and tackle the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Persons epidemic. He led the Senate passage of Savanna’s Act and the Not Invisible Act, both of which were signed into law in October 2020, improving information sharing and collaboration between Tribal and federal law enforcement agencies.

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