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Saturday, February 4th, 2023

FBI, Bureau of Indian Affairs sign law enforcement enhancement agreement

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) have signed an agreement to improve law enforcement in Indian Country.

“The FBI is committed to ongoing, and continued collaboration with the Bureau of Indian Affairs,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said. “The FBI has a crucial role in successfully addressing matters in the nation’s Indian Country communities, and this updated MOU affirms our dedication to the mission of protecting all Americans. The FBI will not waver in its support of our Tribal law enforcement agency partners and our coordination with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.”

Authorities noted Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced the agreement during recent remarks at the 2022 White House Tribal Nations Summit.

“Interagency coordination is absolutely critical given the complexities of jurisdiction in Tribal communities,” Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland said. “This agreement supports an all-of-government approach to addressing federal responsibilities and Tribal needs in Indian Country. All federal agencies share a treaty and trust responsibility to protect Tribal sovereignty and revitalize Tribal communities. This partnership will further support our efforts to keep Native people safe in their homes and communities.”

The scope of the agreement calls for the BIA Office of Justice Services and the FBI to cooperate on investigations and share information and investigative reports, per officials, adding the agencies will also establish written guidelines outlining jurisdiction and investigative roles and responsibilities for investigators from the BIA, FBI and Tribal law enforcement agencies.

The agreement also requires all BIA, FBI, and Tribal law enforcement officers to receive training regarding trauma-informed, culturally responsive investigative approaches, authorities noted.