Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $149,060)
The Nansemond Indian Nation is a federally recognized tribe located in Suffolk, Virginia.
With this funding, the Tribe’s leadership will work with the DOJ-provided Technical Training Assistance Provider to create a strategic plan for developing and implementing our Constitutionally required Judicial Branch of government as well as a comprehensive tribal justice system to provide maximum services for our Tribal members. The Tribe’s recently adopted 2022 Constitution (the Tribe only received federal recognition in 2018) calls for a Judicial Branch in parallel with the Executive and Legislative, but we have not implemented this to date beyond the minimum requirements. A full Judicial Branch, including courts and law enforcement, as well as other aspects, is anticipated by the Constitution, but the details are left to the Legislature to prepare over time. In addition, we do not currently have any justice system functions in place to respond to and address the very significant public safety and community wellness concerns – including substance abuse, domestic violence, trespassing, theft and vandalism, and more – that are negatively impacting the lives of Tribal Members. A new, carefully planned and implemented comprehensive tribal justice system will meet our Constitutional Judicial Branch requirements and help our Nation address the needs of its members and usher in a new era of improved safety and wellness for our Tribal community. Strategic planning represents the critical first step on this path.