NCAI concerned about DOJ's commitment to tribes
Tribes are concerned about the Department of Justice's commitment to public safety on reservations, National Congress of American Indians President Joe Garcia said.

Garcia cited testimony last week of Monica Goodling, a former DOJ aide. She said she heard complaints that former U.S. Attorney Thomas Heffelfinger was spending "too much time on Native American issues."

"Unfortunately Ms. Goodling's testimony this week confirms concerns the Native American community has held for some time regarding the DOJ's commitment to the safety of Native Americans," said Garcia.

Heffelfinger wasn't among the eight federal prosecutors who were ousted by the Bush administration last December but he was a target due to his leadership on the Native American Issues Subcommittee. Five of the eight former U.S. Attorneys represented states with significant Indian Country.

"The firing of certain attorneys and the testimony regarding Mr. Heffelfinger paint a glaring picture regarding how the DOJ is handling Indian Country issues. And it is not a pretty one," said Garcia.

Garcia said statistics about the high rate of violent crime and sexual assaults in Indian Country call for significant federal assistance. "We are sitting ducks in our own communities, and the DOJ is worried about one U.S. Attorney spending too much time helping us," he said.

Transcripts:
Goodling Testifies Before The House Judiciary Committee | David Iglesias on U.S. Attorney Firings, Goodling Testimony

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