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Attorney General’s Advisory Subcommittee on Native American Issues Convenes in New Mexico

Attorney General’s Advisory Subcommittee on Native American Issues Convenes in New Mexico

Last month, the District of New Mexico United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) hosted approximately sixty (60) United States Attorneys (USAs), Tribal Liaisons, and other law enforcement personnel for a meeting of the Native American Issues Subcommittee (NAIS) of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee.[1] The meeting took place in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico, to discuss safety and law enforcement issues that impact Native American and Alaska Native Communities.[2] The NAIS is charged with engaging tribal leaders to develop strategies and best practices that address missing and murdered indigenous people, drug trafficking, needed law enforcement resources, and safeguarding children from sexual abuse in Indian Country.[3] 

Panel discussions also focused on the Indian Arts and Crafts Act and preserving cultural patrimony[4]: “The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 is a truth-in-advertising law that prohibits misrepresentation in the marketing of Indian arts and crafts products within the United States.”[5] It is illegal to offer, display for sale, or sell any art or craft product in a manner that falsely suggests it is an Indian product.[6] 

The NAIS consists of fifty-three (53) US Attorneys serving in districts that include Indian Country or one or more federally recognized tribes and makes policy recommendations to the Attorney General.[7] The NAIS has identified four priority areas: 1) violent crime 2) law enforcement resources 3) drug trafficking and substance abuse, and 4) white collar crime.[8] “It is the longest standing subcommittee to the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee and helps develop, shape, and otherwise implement justice policies affecting Native Americans and Alaska Natives.”[9] 

In July 2019, the Department of Justice (Department) announced a new tool giving tribal governments the ability to input data directly and gain access to the FBI’s national sex offender registry using the Tribe and Territory Sex Offender Registry System (TTSORS).[10] TTSORS is a functioning registry system that complies with sex offender registration and notification requirements.[11]

The system connection will be available to all tribal governments already participating in the Tribal Access Program (TAP), which allows information sharing between tribal and federal government criminal information systems. TAP has been instrumental in assisting tribes with ongoing implementation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). In fiscal year 2019, the Department expanded TAP to twenty-five (25) more tribes, for a total of more than seventy (70) participating tribes across the country.[12]

Joseph Tali is an indigenous thought facilitator sent to Mother Earth by the Creator for the purpose of perpetuating the original force of our ancestors. An artist constantly in search of new mediums, he blends vintage tribal soul with contemporary new world vibes. In his spare time, he attends the University of New Mexico School of Law where he will graduate with 2020 vision.


[1] Attorney General’s Advisory Subcommittee on Native American Issues to Convene in New Mexico, The United States Attorney’s Office District of Oregon, https://www.justice.gov/usao-or/pr/attorney-generals-advisory-subcommittee-native-american-issues-convene-new-mexico (last visited Oct. 25, 2019). 

[2] Id.

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

[5] Id.

[6] Id.

[7] Id.

[8] Id.

[9] Id.

[10] Id.

[11] Id.

[12] Id.

By Tribal Law Journal Blog

The Tribal Law Journal was established in fall 1998 for the purpose of promoting indigenous self-determination by facilitating discussion of the internal law of the world’s indigenous nations. The internal law of indigenous nations encompasses traditional law, western law adopted by indigenous nations, and a blend of western and indigenous law. Underscoring this purpose is the recognition that traditional law is a source of law.

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