afternoon, and thank you for the privilege to
speak to you again.
jurisdiction of the FBI in Indian Country dates
back practically to the FBI’s formation.
This historic connection remains very important
to the Bureau. But, in this time of terrorist
threats, there is always concern that we will
abandon our commitment to Indian Country investigations
in favor of what are seen as higher priority
is true that throughout its history, the FBI
has needed to shift resources to address growing
threats to the country. And it has been no different
since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
As you are aware, in the past four years, Special
Agents and analysts throughout the FBI have been
redirected towards our national security mission
and away from some of our criminal matters.
not only have resources not been taken away from
the Indian Country Program, we have actually
added to the number of Special Agents working
Indian Country matters. We remain strongly committed
to our role in Indian Country and committed to
our partnerships with you.
I want to talk about today is where the FBI’s
Indian Country Program is headed and highlight
how our current programs and initiatives are
taking us there.
FBI Divisions have active Indian Country programs.
Our Albuquerque, Minneapolis, Phoenix, and Salt
Lake Divisions accounted for 77 percent of all
case initiations in the last year.
we have 114 Special Agents working Indian Country
matters, which is about a ten percent increase
over last year. Additionally, 25 percent of our
FBI Victim Specialists cadre are assigned exclusively
to Indian Country. They provide a wide range
of critical services, including transporting
child victims to interviews, finding emergency
shelter for victims of domestic violence, and
helping families of homicide victims.
field offices and individuals develop and implement
strategies and programs to address identified
crime problems in Indian Country for which the
FBI has responsibility. They also work with you
to support the efforts of all law enforcement
personnel working in Indian Country.
do so through key programs such as the Safe Trails
Task Forces and the Indian Gaming Working Group,
as well as through training initiatives. I want
to take just a minute to discuss the important
work that is being done through these programs.
FBI currently funds 12 Safe Trails Task Forces,
and two additional task forces are being planned.
These task forces unite the FBI with other federal,
state, and local law enforcement agencies in
a collaborative effort to address crime that
would normally be under-addressed or unaddressed
without the task force. They allow us to combine
all of our resources in an effective manner.
year at this conference, I told you that a Safe
Trails Task Force was coming to Minnesota in
2005. Within months of its being established,
we saw the value of these collaborative efforts.
am sure that all of you are aware of the Red
Lake Reservation school shooting. A juvenile
shot and killed his grandfather and his grandfather’s
girlfriend. He then proceeded to Red Lake High
School where he shot and killed seven individuals
before taking his own life.
response, the new Safe Trails Task Force in Minneapolis
helped facilitate what many believe to be the
best example of law enforcement cooperation in
Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis
Field Office dispatched more than 50 FBI employees
to the Red Lake Indian Reservation, including
Special Agents, an Evidence Response Team, Victim
Specialists, and other support and tactical personnel.
Personnel from the FBI Firearms and Toolmark
Unit as well as the Special Projects Unit were
dispatched to produce a three-dimensional ballistic
reconstruction. And eight Intelligence Analysts
were sent to analyze the information seized from
more than 100 computers. The work of the FBI
and tribal law enforcement resulted in one arrest
for Committing an Act in Furtherance of the shooting.
Trails Task Forces lay the foundation for such
cooperation. The FBI is pleased that this program
is expanding and we expect it to further promote
the partnerships between us, tribal law enforcement,
and all agencies with responsibilities in Indian
program that is expanding is the Indian Gaming
Working Group. With approximately 360 Indian
gaming operations in the United States and revenues
nearing $20 billion, these establishments are
an economic boon and a target for criminal activity.
2003, the Indian Gaming Working Group has brought
together representatives from the FBI and seven
federal agencies to address Indian Gaming matters
with national significance. The Working Group
provides analysts, financial assistance, functional
area expertise, and coordination assistance in
cases deemed to have a significant impact on
Indian communities and the Indian Gaming industry.
the last year, the FBI has added 10 Special Agent
positions and 8 Financial Analyst positions to
address criminal acts related to Indian Gaming.
Additionally, we conducted three Regional Indian
Gaming Conferences that have fostered local working
groups throughout the country. In 2006, four
gaming conferences are planned for a targeted
audience of tribal commissioners and compliance
such as these gaming conferences is vital to
our goal of increasing the capabilities you have
to conduct criminal investigations. In fact,
the FBI has trained nearly 5,500 Indian Country
law enforcement officers and related personnel
since 1997. And we do not intend to cut back
the coming year, the FBI’s Indian Country/Special
Jurisdiction Unit and the Bureau of Indian Affairs
Indian Police Academy will offer 21 regional
training conferences. These will cover topics
such as crime scene investigation, critical incident
response, forensic interviewing of children,
and officer street survival.
also offer firearms instruction through the Salt
Lake City Division focusing on tribal officers
and other rural local officers in agencies adjacent
to or near Indian Reservations. Approximately
80 officers each year receive this training that
not only enhances their skill, but enhances liaison
with the FBI.
of course, we provide ongoing support to this
National Conference, including instructor and
logistical support in the Drugs/Violent Crime
track of instruction. Last year’s event
trained more than 350 personnel.
these training programs, the Indian Gaming Working
Group, and the Safe Trails Task Forces, we have
a solid foundation for the Director’s vision
for cooperation and support in Indian Country
between the FBI and all our partners. It is our
ambition to assist Native American law enforcement
agencies so that they can provide the same services
to their citizens that non-Native American law
enforcement agencies do.
a result, each year, tribal law enforcement agencies
are improving their criminal investigative abilities.
This has allowed us to better target our resources
to the needs of Indian Country. Moving forward,
we will continue to build on this progress.
I close, I want to make one point about how the
FBI relates to Indian Country--there is not Indian
Country and then everything else. We understand
that you are vulnerable to the same threats as
someone living in Washington, D.C., including
terrorism, human trafficking, and gangs.
fact, I know you are just as concerned as the
rest of the country is about things like illegal
immigration, and that many of your Reservations
are directly impacted by it. The close proximity
of the border to many Reservations make them
an avenue for illegal migrants to enter the United
Mueller has made improving our partnerships with
law enforcement agencies a priority for a reason.
Working side-by-side is not just the best option,
it is the only option.
is why we wanted you involved in the Director’s
Law Enforcement Advisory Group. This group is
a forum for discussions, analysis, and recommendations
regarding law enforcement issues of interest
both to the FBI and to you.
also have an individual in our Office of Law
Enforcement Coordination whose responsibility
is to reach out to your law enforcement agencies
and keep the lines of communication open. And
we are pleased that the FBI’s National
Academy just graduated an officer from Indian
the fight against terrorism, human trafficking,
and gangs, we all have the same goals, and the
work each of us does in these areas and others
benefit the entire country. We are all in this
together, and we are glad to have you on the
FBI’s Indian Country Program is staffed
by agents and analysts dedicated to fulfilling
our historic commitment to law enforcement in
Indian Country. The men and women of the FBI
are proud to be your partners in keeping Indian
Country safe. We look forward to our continued
commitment to Indian Country and continued progress
in reducing crime.