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Tolowa Regional Tribal Justice Center

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $2,600,000)

Abstract Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation Purpose Area 4

Regional Tribal Justice Center


The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation is a federally recognized tribe whose reservation lands are located three miles south of the Oregon-California border along the Pacific coastline, in Smith River, CA. The Nation’s jurisdiction and service area encompasses 5 counties, across southern Oregon & northern California, a total of 9,608 square miles, an area the size of the state of Vermont.


The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation region lacks a dedicated and secure tribal justice facility. Another nearby federally recognized Native American Government, Elk Valley Rancheria, lacks a courtroom at all. A third Tribe, Hoopa Tribe, needs a location to hold court for its many members who live on the coast.  To meet the justice needs of these 3 Tribes, the planned project constructs a 7,950 square foot expansion to the existing building, where Court is currently held in shared space. The proposed project will create a dedicated, safe and secure facility: a Regional Tribal Justice Center that will serve Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, Elk Valley Rancheria, and the Hoopa Tribe, as well as local law enforcement & justice partners.


This expanded facility, a Regional Tribal Justice Center, to be known as Dee-ni’‘Ee-ta Lhee-wii-dvn (People) (Region/all) (Leveling-up-place), would serve as the primary operational facility for Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation Court activities and services, as well as a regional court facility and remote offices for the Elk Valley Rancheria Tribal Court System, as well as the coastal Native population of the Hoopa Tribe.


The proposed Regional Tribal Justice Center consists of a courtroom, judge’s chambers, a lobby and legal access center, plus offices for Tribal Court staff, meeting & training space, and space for justice-related services such as victim services & drug & alcohol counseling. The Justice Center will also house a sheriff substation, creating a much-needed presence & workspace for local law enforcement.


The planned Justice Center will be complete & operational, by 2025.  Project success will be measured by an increase of at least 10% for both the number of Tolowa Citizens accessing the justice system, as well as citizens of neighboring Tribe Elk Valley Rancheria.  This regional justice center will provide a sub-station for a Deputy Sheriff to be located directly in the service area, effectively increasing the presence of law enforcement by 20% over current levels.

Date Created: September 21, 2022