U.S. Department of Justice Awards Tribal Programs $1.7 Million
Sep 30, 2016
Tribal Police and Three Sisters Program Receive CTAS Grants
AKWESASNE — On Seskehkó:wa/September 26, 2016 the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe was informed two tribal programs were awarded grants from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) for a total of $1,721,851. The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police Department received $822,323 for public safety and community policing, while the Three Sisters Program got $899,530 for violence against women programming.
“Receiving these grants is an important accomplishment for the SRMT and is vital for ongoing provision of essential community services,” said Executive Director Tsiorasa Barreiro. He added, “We are appreciative of everyone’s efforts who helped prepare, review and submit a deserving proposal, particularly the work of Tribal Grant Development Specialist Lornie Swamp and Corporate Compliance Officer Natalie Hemlock for ensuring the strongest submission was made for the Tribal Police and Three Sisters Program.”
The two grants are part of a $107 million effort by the Department of Justice to enhance law enforcement and help strengthen tribal institutions that help victims in nine purpose areas: public safety and community policing, justice systems planning, alcohol and substance abuse, corrections and correctional alternatives, violence against women, juvenile justice and tribal youth programs. The Tribal Police received one of 236 grants awarded under the department’s CTAS program, while Three Sister Program was named one of seven (7) recipients by the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).
“Community Policing and ensuring the safety and well-being of individuals continues to be an important role for the Tribal Police Department,” stated Chief of Police Matthew Rourke. Rourke added, “The CTAS grant serves as recognition from the Department of Justice of our police department’s professionalism, dedication and ongoing commitment to community safety.”
The CTAS grant of $822,323 will help increase the capacity of the Tribal Police Department to respond to suspicious activities and investigate crimes, with particular focus on domestic violence and mental health-related safety issues. The funding will enhance the police department’s public safety efforts by hiring and training two (2) officers to conduct more community policing activities, as well as purchase three (3) additional patrol cars and in-car technology to decrease response times for community safety matters.
The Tribe’s Three Sisters Program was also a recipient of the Department of Justice’s most recent grants—receiving $899,530 from the Office on Violence Against Women. Only seven (7) awards were granted for more than $2 million total, with the Three Sisters Program being one tribal government program being recognized for exercising their jurisdiction over domestic violence crimes as outlined in the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.
The Three Sisters Program originated as the “STOP DV” Program in 1998 and has grown to now include a secure 24/7 shelter facility whose operations provide crisis response and support services to victims of abuse, violence, assault, and harassment stemming from domestic violence and sexual assault.Overseen by the Tribe’s Division of Community and Family Services, the program is staffed by two (2) Domestic Violence Advocates and one (1) Sexual Assault Advocate who provide intervention and protective services, advocacy and other victim assistance to individuals and families.
“Domestic violence and sexual assault is affecting a large number of people in our community every year,” said Three Sisters Program Manager Ida Montour. She noted, “The Three Sisters Program; in partnership with the Tribal Police Department, Social Service Division and the Seven Dancers Coalition; are committed to helping our families that are in crisis. This grant will help strengthen the voice of victims by providing an essential and critical safety net for women, children and men in Akwesasne who are in violent and life threatening situations.”
The above grants were made possible through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS), a single application for tribal-specific grant programs. CTAS was developed to streamline support provided through the department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, Office of Justice Programs and the Office on Violence Against Women.
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council is the duly elected and federally recognized government of the Saint Regis Mohawk People.