Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $149,998)
The Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, traditionally known as the Meskwaki Nation, is aware of its community’s concern for safety and justice. This funding request will allow the tribe to focus on how it can assert itself as a proactive player in a plan of improvement to mitigate crime and violence on the Meskwaki Settlement. With this application for Purpose Area 2 funding, the tribe aims to address the issues surrounding violence against women and children, criminal behavior and acts, and substance abuse, as well as to reduce the experience of crime or engagement in crime. The tribe will not ignore the root causes American Indian communities encounter from historical, cultural, and intergenerational trauma inflicted by governments, policies, and standards. These external justice systems do not factor in an Indigenous philosophy, and oftentimes the external justice systems create distrust and fuel adversarial actions in the form of continued violence and crime. With this funding, the tribe will have an opportunity to identify alternative plans and methods toward community justice. The focus of strategic planning is to address trauma on a multidepartment basis. With this funding, the identified team will: (1) Hire a project manager to lead and track progress, (2) coordinate and invite departments to discussion tables, (3) engage the community through direct input and feedback toward the development of a needs assessment, and (4) develop a community-wide Justice System Strategic Plan. The purpose of strategic planning is to develop recommendations of justice priorities and how to address them, build partnerships, and maintain accountability of tribal institutions and stakeholders to the developed recommendations. This strategic plan will become a prioritized instrument to investigate and attract future funding toward meeting the goals and objectives defined in the Meskwaki Justice System Strategic Plan.