[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 239 (Friday, December 12, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 73905-73906]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-28903]



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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Office of the Attorney General

[AG Order No. 3481-2014]


Attorney General Guidelines Stating Principles for Working With 
Federally Recognized Indian Tribes

AGENCY: Office of the Attorney General, Department of Justice.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Attorney General is issuing guidelines stating principles 
for working with federally recognized Indian tribes.

DATES: This notice is effective December 3, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Mr. Tracy Toulou, Director, Office of Tribal Justice, 
Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Room 2310, 
Washington, DC 20530, email [email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Tracy Toulou, Director, Office of 
Tribal Justice, Department of Justice, at (202) 514-8812 (not a toll-
free number) or [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Attorney General Guidelines state the 
following principles for working with federally recognized Indian 
tribes:

Overarching Principles

     The Department of Justice honors and strives to act in 
accordance with the general trust relationship between the United 
States and tribes.
     The Department of Justice is committed to furthering the 
government-to-government relationship with each tribe, which forms the 
heart of our federal Indian policy.
     The Department of Justice respects and supports tribes' 
authority to exercise their inherent sovereign powers, including powers 
over both their citizens and their territory.
     The Department of Justice promotes and pursues the 
objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of 
Indigenous Peoples.
     The Department of Justice is committed to tribal self-
determination, tribal autonomy, tribal nation-building, and the long-
term goal of maximizing tribal control over governmental institutions 
in tribal communities, because tribal problems generally are best 
addressed by tribal solutions, including solutions informed by tribal 
traditions and custom.

Consultation and Communication With Tribes

     The Department of Justice recognizes that its commitment 
to tribal self-determination requires regular, meaningful, and informed 
consultation with American Indian and Alaska Native tribal officials 
when developing new or amended policies, regulations, and legislative 
actions initiated by the Department that may affect tribes, as detailed 
in the Department's Policy Statement on Tribal Consultation.
     The Department of Justice recognizes that--in addition to, 
but not in lieu of, formal consultation--there can be great benefit in 
timely, detailed, informal communications with tribal officials and 
other community leaders.
     The Department of Justice supports the Attorney General's 
Tribal Nations Leadership Council and other task forces and advisory 
groups that allow elected tribal representatives to provide direct 
input to the Department's leaders and components.

Culture and Mutual Respect

     The Department of Justice recognizes that each tribe's 
history and contemporary culture are unique, and that solutions that 
work for one tribe may not be suitable for others.
     The Department of Justice works to respectfully consider 
traditional tribal cultural practices and values, and is sensitive to 
the need for effective cross-cultural communication.
     The Department of Justice seeks to foster an internal 
Departmental culture, from top to bottom, that will encourage its 
officers and employees to identify and be responsive to the needs of 
tribes routinely, not merely as an afterthought.

Law Enforcement and Litigation

     The Department of Justice is committed to helping protect 
all Native Americans from violence, takes seriously its role in 
enforcing federal criminal laws that apply in Indian country, and 
recognizes that, absent the Department's action, some serious crimes 
might go unaddressed.
     The Department of Justice prioritizes helping protect 
Native American women and children from violence and exposure to 
violence, and works with tribes to hold perpetrators accountable, to 
protect victims, and to reduce the incidence of domestic violence, 
sexual assault, and child abuse and neglect in tribal communities.
     The Department of Justice is committed to protecting 
tribal treaty rights, tribal lands and natural resources, and tribal 
jurisdiction through litigation, where appropriate, and to handling 
litigation involving tribes in a manner that is mindful of the 
government-to-government relationship.
     The Department of Justice promotes the proper application 
of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), and seeks to protect 
tribes and Native American families from unwarranted removal of their 
children.
     The Department of Justice works to safeguard the civil 
rights of Native Americans by prosecuting hate crimes, protecting the 
right to vote, and otherwise helping ensure that Native Americans are 
free from illegal discrimination.

Nation-Building and Tribal Justice Systems

     The Department of Justice believes that stable funding at 
sufficient levels for essential tribal justice functions is critical to 
the long-term growth of tribal institutions.
     The Department of Justice seeks to increase tribes' 
flexibility to administer grant programs and thus design solutions 
appropriate to their communities, while ensuring strict accountability.
     The Department of Justice believes that pilot and 
demonstration projects that are available to state or local governments 
should be available to similarly situated tribal governments, and 
endeavors, where appropriate and practicable, to give serious 
consideration to locating projects in tribal communities.
     The Department of Justice is committed to fully 
implementing the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 (ICRA), the Tribal Law 
and Order Act of 2010 (TLOA), and the Violence Against Women 
Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA), and believes that working with 
tribes to strengthen their justice systems, including indigent defense 
services, is critical to fulfilling the promise of these statutes.
     The Department of Justice supports tribes' efforts to 
build innovative approaches to law enforcement, public safety, and 
victim services, and, where appropriate, to evaluate those approaches 
by collecting empirical evidence and conducting scientific and 
statistical research.

Coordination and Outreach

     The Department of Justice, when working with other federal 
agencies on issues involving tribes, advocates respecting tribal self-
determination, tribal autonomy, tribal nation-building, and the 
government-to-government relationship.
     The Department of Justice works to facilitate 
communication and build relationships among the federal agencies 
engaged with tribal governments and to promote the sharing of federal 
resources and expertise.

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     The Department of Justice works to facilitate 
communication and build relationships between tribes and state, local, 
and private partners in law enforcement, public safety, victim 
services, and civil rights, to promote prosperous and resilient tribal 
communities, and to use dispute resolution techniques such as mediation 
to resolve community conflicts and tensions.
     The Department of Justice recognizes the link between 
healthy, prospering families and public safety, and the need to 
coordinate law enforcement efforts with educational, housing, 
environmental-protection, and public-health services.

Sustainability

     The Department of Justice will continue taking steps to 
institutionalize its commitment to tribal justice and to make its 
officers and employees aware of these Attorney General Guidelines 
stating principles for working with federally recognized Indian tribes, 
so that progress in areas important to tribes continues regardless of 
changes in Department personnel.
    These guidelines and principles are intended to improve the 
internal management of the Department of Justice. They are not intended 
to and do not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, 
enforceable at law or in equity by any party in any matter, civil or 
criminal, against the United States, its departments, agencies, or 
entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person, nor 
do these guidelines or principles place any limitations on otherwise 
lawful litigative prerogatives of the Department of Justice. Please 
contact the Department's Office of Tribal Justice (OTJ) with any 
questions about these guidelines and principles.

    Dated: December 3, 2014.
Eric H. Holder, Jr.,
Attorney General.
[FR Doc. 2014-28903 Filed 12-11-14; 8:45 am]
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