FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE THURSDAY, JUNE 1, 1995

AG (202) 616-2765 At Conference Site: (801) 534-0337 TDD (202) 514-1888

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO HOLD NORTHWEST REGIONAL AMERICAN INDIAN NATIONS LISTENING CONFERENCE Friday, June 2 - Salt Lake City Utah WASHINGTON, D.C.-- As the Department of Justice prepares for the second Indian Listening Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, Attorney General Janet Reno today released a list of the Department's accomplishments since last year's Conference. Entitled "Promises Kept," the report revealed how the Department has created unprecedented access to the Department of Justice; defended Native American sovereignty and religious rights; and provided funding and personnel to fight crime, violence against women and child exploitation in Indian Nations. "At last year's National American Indian Listening Conference we listened to the tribe's concerns, we heard what we were doing right and what we were doing wrong, and we went back and did our very best to improve the Department's responsiveness to tribes and represent tribal interests to the extent the law allows," said Reno. On Friday, June 2, the Department will bring together more than 50 American Indian tribal leaders, Department of Justice officials and chief judges from state and federal courts to hear and address specific concerns of Northwestern tribes. United States Attorneys and state judges from the six northwestern states, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Utah, will address ways to enhance federal-state-tribal cooperation. Tribal leaders will have an opportunity to meet Herb Becker, Director of the Department of Justice's new Office of Tribal Justice, which was established in January. They also will hear from the Honorable Stanley Feldman, Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court and Chair of the Committee on Tribal-State-Federal Relations of the Conference of State Chief Justices, and Honorable William C. Canby Jr., Chair of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Task Force on Tribal Courts. The Northwest Regional Listening Conference will be devoted to three issues of greatest importance to Northwestern tribes: law enforcement and related funding; treaty rights, especially hunting and fishing rights; and tribal courts. Tribal leaders, for purposes of this conference, identify these three issues as their top priorities. Special attention will be focused on tribal courts since they affect all tribes. Department officials will address state jurisdiction over crimes on reservations, or Public Law 280. They also will discuss ways to strengthen tribal justice systems, particularly their ability to respond to family violence and juvenile issues.

Since the historic National American Indian Listening Conference last year, the Department of Justice has been active affirming the Administration's commitment to tribal sovereignty, working with tribal governments on a government to government basis and litigating on behalf of American Indian rights. The Department of Justice: * Established a point of contact for tribes and a permanent vehicle to coordinate and focus Department of Justice policies and positions on American Indian issues through the creation of the Office of Tribal Justice. * * * Defended Native American religious, treaty, gaming and civil rights, tribal claims and sovereignty. Granted over $9 million from police hiring grants to 128 tribes to fund Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). Added: 26 Assistant United States Attorney positions to districts with high concentration of American Indian tribes. 7 criminal attorneys to enhance the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) of the Criminal Division. * * Plans to award 15 to 20 Violence Against Women Act grants to Indian Tribes. Plans to add 27 FBI agents to augment investigations in Indian Country.

Attached is summary of the Department's accomplishments in meeting its Federal responsibility to this country's first Americans. ### 95-303