Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $150,000)
The Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians is a federally recognized Tribe located in Lake County, California. With the assistance of CTAS 2021 funds, the Tribe intends to engage in a comprehensive system wide strategic planning process in order to lay the groundwork for a sustainable Tribal Justice System that will include the Big Valley Police Department and Big Valley Tribal Court.
The Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians lacks the justice system infrastructure necessary to address infractions and misdemeanors which are thought of as quality of life violations. These violations include trespassing, animals at large, illegal burning, speeding, loud music, loitering, and other public nuisances that diminish the overall wellness and peace of the people living in the tribal community. When these nuisances go unaddressed due to jurisdictional gaps caused by PL-280 and the rural location of the Tribe, tribal community members experience a high level of personal and family stress, as well as friction with their neighbors. This friction can escalate, impact personal health and family functioning, and often leads to violence.
With the assistance of CTAS funds, the Big Valley Tribe will hire a Tribal Justice System Director (Director) to lead the strategic planning process. The Big Valley Tribal Justice System Advisory Committee (Committee) will oversee the planning process and will include members of the Tribal Business Council and key staff. The Director will meet with the Committee monthly and provide reports on progress. The Director will be responsible for conducting a needs assessment, the findings of which will be used to identify the steps the tribe will take to develop a viable justice system. The Director will be responsible for developing a comprehensive strategic action plan for creating the Big Valley Police Department and Tribal Court. The Director will develop the Tribe’s capacity to begin hearing cases by identifying which tribal ordinances need to be written or updated in order to address these quality of life violations. The Director will also conduct resource mapping and identify necessary personnel to support the functioning of the tribal justice system. The Director will identify and apply for funding in order to implement the Big Valley Tribal Justice System approved strategic written plan.