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The Fort Peck Tribes have received roughly half-a-million dollars to prosecute crimes on the northeast Montana reservation, with a focus on violence against women.

The $499,890 in U.S. Department of Justice funds will go toward hiring a new prosecutor to try crimes in both Fort Peck Tribal Courts and in U.S. District Court, under the direction of the Montana U.S. Attorney’s Office, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme’s office. The prosecutor will be named a special assistant United States attorney.

Tribal Chairman Floyd Azure said the tribes partnered with the federal prosecutor’s office in order to reduce violence against Native American women through “enhanced investigative training” and coordination between the two governments’ prosecution offices.

“Keeping the partnership in place and expanding the prosecutorial arm of the Tribes is forefront in implementing the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 for the safety of women and children. The Fort Peck Tribes look forward to continuing our working relationship with the Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Azure said, in a written statement.

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Alme said the grant would help Fort Peck tribes expand prosecution of violent crimes and drug-related activity, and improve public safety.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the tribal prosecutor’s office to ensure public safety on the reservation,” Alme said, in the release.

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