Tribal Judicial Institute
The Tribal Judicial Institute was established in 1993 with an award from a private foundation, the Bush Foundation, to provide training and technical assistance to twenty tribal courts in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. Since then, the Institute has expanded to become a national institute and has conducted over 500 local, regional and national training sessions for approximately 250 different tribal courts and tribal agencies throughout the nation. The Institute’s trainings have focused primarily on tribal law enforcement development and enhancement, as well as the design and enhancement of tribal justice systems for adults and youth. In 1998, the Institute became one of the initial grantees of the Bureau of Justice Assistance under BJA’s Tribal Court Assistance Program. In 2001, the Institute was asked by BJA to coordinate the Tribal Court Assistance Program and since that time has served as the primary technical assistance provider to the over 250 Indian tribes that have received funding under the Tribal Court Assistance Project. The TCAP program was conceived under DOJ’s Indian Country Law Enforcement Initiative and its primary focus has been assuring safety for native communities by providing funding to Indian tribes to improve the collaboration between law enforcement and the Courts and to assist local tribal initiatives to respond to crime in Indian country. Tribal Justice issues have always been a priority for the Tribal Judicial Institute. Under the TCAP program the Institute helped coordinate two “Listening” conferences where tribal leaders in Alaska and tribal leaders in the lower 48 United States were able to come together with federal and state policy makers and express their concerns about crime in their communities.