A newspaper on a wooden desk - Press Release
National Judicial College receives $1 million grant to support tribal courts

The National Tribal Judicial Center of The National Judicial College (NJC) has been awarded an additional $1 million grant from the U.S. Justice Department to provide training and technical assistance to tribal judiciaries. 

The College has been receiving support under a grant from the department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) since 2019 and has since been given two supplemental awards through the department’s Coordinated Tribal Assistance Association. The total Bureau of Justice Assistance support granted or pending to the Tribal Center since 2019 now exceeds $2 million.

“We’re grateful to BJA for the continuing confidence it has shown in our programs serving Indian Country,” said NJC President Benes Aldana. “No college respects and supports the unique peacemaking and restorative justice beliefs of Native people more than our National Tribal Judicial Center.”

Under the grants, the Tribal Center supports tribal judiciaries across the country in alliance with the Tribal Judicial Institute of the University of North Dakota and the Court Innovation’s Tribal Justice Exchange.

The funds are used for varied purposes, including annual conferences, visits to tribes that require aid (although travel has recently been put on hold due to the pandemic), and to provide tribal judiciaries advice on court procedures. That includes creating and distributing specialized “bench books” or reference guides for judges. Jan W. Morris, director of the Tribal Center, will lead activities related to the grant. A registered member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, he has more than 30 years’ experience as a tribal judge and has been a faculty member and program administrator with the NJC for 15 years.

Contact: Ed Cohen, Director of Communications/Marketing
egcohen@judges.org, 775-327-8285 or 574-386-8915 (cell)

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