Implementing Tribes

Note: This list and map is current as of October 2018.

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe in Arizona

The Tulalip Tribes in Washington

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) in Oregon

The Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana

The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation in North and South Dakota

The Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians in Michigan

The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas

The Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina

The Seminole Nation in Oklahoma

The Sac and Fox Nation in Oklahoma

The Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma 

The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi in Michigan

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation in Oklahoma

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North and South Dakota

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa in Michigan

The Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana

The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe in Washington

Quinault Nation

Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma

Gila River Indian Community

Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe

 

Below is a profile of the first 20 tribes to implement VAWA SDVCJ:

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Pascua Yaqui Tribe (AZ)

Exercising jurisdiction since February 20, 2014.

Pilot Project Tribe

Tribal Code

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe is located on a 2,200-acre reservation in southwest Arizona near Tucson, approximately 60 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. The Tribe has approximately 19,000 members, with 4-5,000 members living on the reservation. The most common household demographic on the reservation is single-mother households, which account for nearly 43 percent of all Pascua Yaqui households.  According to the U.S. Census,  the population of the Tribe’s reservation and off-reservation trust land is approximately 12.7 percent non-Indian.  The Pascua Yaqui Tribe submitted its final Pilot Project Application Questionnaire to DOJ on December 30, 2013. The Tribe received approval to begin exercising SDVCJ on February 6, 2014, and jurisdiction went into effect on February 20, 2014. The Tribe immediately issued a press release and formal notice to the community regarding implementation of the new law. After the Pilot Project concluded, the Tribe released an Implementation Timeline  and comprehensive Pilot Project Summary of SDVCJ implementation at Pascua Yaqui. 

The vast majority of criminal cases filed in the Pascua Yaqui Tribal Court are domestic-violence related offenses. Several of the Pascua Yaqui prosecutors are designated as Special Assistant United States Attorneys (SAUSAs), which allows them to also serve as prosecutors in federal court. The Tribe funds a full-fledged Public Defenders Office (originally opened in 1995) with four licensed defense attorneys who represent those accused of crimes. The Tribe also funds four private contracted defense attorneys for those cases where a conflict of interest exists. The Tribe has employed law-trained judges and recorded its court proceedings since long before VAWA 2013. Pascua Yaqui has the highest number of SDVCJ cases, and was the first tribe to have a jury trial.

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe has not received grant funding from the program authorized in VAWA 2013 to support the exercise of SDVCJ.

 

Tulalip Tribes of Washington

Exercising jurisdiction since February 20, 2014.

Pilot Project Tribe

Tribal Code

The Tulalip Tribes are located on a 22,000-acre reservation in western Washington State, approximately 30 miles north of Seattle. The Tribes have over 4,600 members, about 2,600 of whom live on the reservation.  According to the U.S. Census, the population of the tribe’s reservation and off-reservation trust land is approximately 76 percent non-Indian. 

The Tulalip Tribal Court operates a separate Domestic Violence Court docket and SDVCJ cases are handled there. The Tribe also employs a specialized domestic violence and sexual assault prosecutor, who was approved as a Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA) at the beginning of the Pilot Project. Washington State partially retroceded PL 280 jurisdiction to the federal governments in 2001 and the tribe established a police department and criminal court shortly thereafter.

The Tulalip Tribes submitted their final Pilot Project Application Questionnaire to the DOJ on December 19, 2013.  The Tribes received approval to implement SDVCJ on February 6, 2014, and jurisdiction took effect on February 20, 2014.

The Tribes implemented TLOA enhanced sentencing provisions prior to the passage of VAWA 2013 and have provided indigent defense, included non-Indians in the jury pool, recorded court proceedings, and employed law-trained judges in the criminal court since 2002. All of the SDVCJ convicted offenders are ordered to undergo tribally-certified batterer intervention programs.

The Tulalip Tribes received a $419,792 grant from OVW in 2016 to support the exercise of SDVCJ.

 

Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (OR)

Exercising jurisdiction since February 20, 2014.

Pilot Project Tribe

Tribal Code

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) are located on a land base of 173,470 acres in southeast Oregon. CTUIR has 2,956 tribal members, 30 percent of whom are under the age of 18.  According to the U.S. Census, the tribe’s reservation and off-reservation trust land have a total population of approximately 2,800, 51.2 percent of whom are non-Indians.

The Confederated Tribes have exercised expansive criminal jurisdiction since the State of Oregon retroceded Public Law 280 criminal jurisdiction in 1981. CTUIR implemented felony sentencing under TLOA in 2011, and the tribal prosecutor serves as a SAUSA. CTUIR has provided indigent counsel, recorded tribal judicial proceedings, employed law-trained judges, and included non-Indians on tribal juries since long before VAWA 2013 was enacted. The Tribes report that in 2011, over 60 percent of the cases seen by the Umatilla Family Violence Program involved non-Indians.

CTUIR submitted their final Pilot Project Application Questionnaire to the DOJ on December 19, 2013.  The Tribes received approval to implement SDVCJ on February 6, 2014, and jurisdiction went into effect on February 20, 2014. In conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon, the Tribes issued a press release regarding implementation of the new jurisdiction on February 6, 2014.

CTUIR’s courts provide additional mandatory supports for both batterers and victims. As part of CTUIR probation, they require defendants to undergo batterer intervention treatment, which the CTUIR provide free of charge. Additionally, to protect victim safety the CTUIR Court issues an automatic protection order in every pending domestic violence criminal case. The Umatilla Family Violence Program provides community-based advocacy to domestic violence victims. This program offers a court advocate, housing, counseling, and other support services for any victim.

Implementing SDVCJ has dramatically increased accountability for non-Indian DV offenders. The Tribes report that prior to implementation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office had only prosecuted two cases of domestic violence committed by non-Indians.

CTUIR has not received grant funding from the program authorized in VAWA 2013 to support the exercise of SDVCJ.

 

Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate (SD/ND)

Exercising jurisdiction since March 6, 2015.

Pilot Project Tribe

Tribal Code

The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate is comprised of two subdivisions of Dakotah Indians that reside on the Lake Traverse Reservation, established by treaty in 1867. This reservation extends into five counties in northeast South Dakota and two counties in southeast North Dakota. The Tribe has 13,873 enrolled members  with approximately 9,894 members living on the Reservation.   According to the U.S. Census, the tribe’s reservation and off-reservation trust land population is approximately 57.1 percent non-Indian.

The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation submitted its final Pilot Project Application Questionnaire to DOJ on March 4, 2015. The Tribe received approval to implement SDVCJ on March 6, 2015.

The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate court was created by the Oyate’s Constitution to resolve disputes involving Tribal members and non-members and to provide a forum for the prosecution of those persons who commit crimes on the Lake Traverse Indian reservation. The Court describes its goal as to “provide due process to all persons that come before it and to resolve disputes as efficiently as possible using Tribal laws, customs and traditions.”

The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate has not received grant funding from the program authorized in VAWA 2013 to support the exercise of SDVCJ.

 

Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Reservation (MT)

Exercising jurisdiction since March 6, 2015.

Pilot Project Tribe

Tribal Code

The Fort Peck Indian Reservation is home to the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, which are two separate Nations comprised of numerous bands and divisions. Located in northeast Montana, the Reservation extends over four counties and is the 9th largest Indian reservation in the United States. The Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of Fort Peck have an estimated 10,000 enrolled members with approximately 6,000 members living on the Reservation. According to the U.S. Census, the tribe’s reservation and off-reservation trust land have a population of approximately 10,400, 31.6 percent of whom are non-Indians.

The Fort Peck Tribal Court operates a domestic violence docket. The Tribes implemented felony sentencing under TLOA in 2012.

The Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation submitted their initial Pilot Project Application Questionnaire to the DOJ on December 26, 2013. After amending their application, the Fort Peck Tribes received approval to implement SDVCJ on March 6, 2015. The Fort Peck Tribes also have a well-established Family Violence Resource Center that provides comprehensive services to domestic violence and sexual assault victims. The Fort Peck Tribal Court issues a “Hope Card” in conjunction with any orders of protection it grants. This card is wallet-sized and allows the person who has been granted an order of protection to easily prove this in other jurisdictions.

The Fort Peck Tribes has not received grant funding from the program authorized in VAWA 2013 to support the exercise of SDVCJ.

 

Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (MI)

Exercising jurisdiction since March 7, 2015. 

Tribal Code

The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians is located across 336 square miles  of land on the northwestern shores of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.  The tribe has over 4,500 enrolled members with just under 1,200 living within neighboring Charlevoix, Emmet, and Cheboygan Counties. The tribe’s reservation and off-reservation trust land have a population of approximately 712. The population is 95 percent Indian and 5 percent non-Indian.

Little Traverse has developed and maintained a specialized domestic violence court docket since 2013 that ensures they are providing best practices and policies to maintain victim safety along with offender accountability. Previous to VAWA implementation, LTBB has provided defendants many of the due process requirements in their Trial Court such as the right to effective assistance of counsel, the right to a law trained judge, and trials by judge or jury.   The tribe has a Survivor Outreach Services Program within the Tribe’s Department of Human Services, which provides a variety of services to both Native and non-Native intimate partners such as safety planning, cultural advocacy, non-emergency transportation, emergency food vouchers, assistance with personal protection orders, and court accompaniment. 

The Little Traverse Bay Band received a $450,000 grant from OVW in 2016 to support the exercise of SDVCJ.

 

Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas

Exercising jurisdiction since March 7, 2015. 

Tribal Code

The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas is located on 4,593 square acres of land in southeast Texas, approximately 90 miles north of Houston. The tribe has over 1,000 enrolled members, about 500 of whom live on the reservation.  According to the U.S. Census, the tribe’s reservation and off-reservation trust land population is 96 percent Indian and 4 percent non-Indian. 

The Alabama-Coushatta Tribal Court is established pursuant to Article XIII of the Constitution of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas.  The Court consists of a Trial Division, which is presided over by a Chief Judge, and as many additional Associate Judges as the Tribal Council appoints.  The Alabama-Coushatta Court of Appeals hears appeals as needed.

The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe has not received grant funding from the program authorized in VAWA 2013 to support the exercise of SDVCJ.

 

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Exercising jurisdiction since May 9, 2015.     

Tribal Code

The Choctaw Nation spans 11 counties in Oklahoma.  The Choctaw Nation has a total of 223,279 registered members, 84,670 of whom live in Oklahoma.  The Tribal area tracked by the U.S. Census has a population of approximately 231,000. The population of that area is 21 percent Indian and 79 percent non-Indian. 

Choctaw Nation maintains both a Constitutional Court, and a Court of General Jurisdiction, which includes both an Appellate and District Court. Domestic Violence cases are heard in the District Courts which incorporate traditional values into the system to provide more tailored solutions to their cases.  The Tribe’s Children and Family Services Department provides Domestic Violence Support.

The Choctaw Nation has not received grant funding from the program authorized in VAWA 2013 to support the exercise of SDVCJ.

 

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (NC)

Exercising jurisdiction since June 8, 2015.

Tribal Code

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is located in western North Carolina, adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains. The Reservation is composed of 57,000 acres known as the Qualla Boundary. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has a total of 14,000 tribal members.  According to the U.S. Census, the population of the reservation is approximately 9,600 people, and is 77 percent Indian and 23 percent non-Indian.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians maintains a court system comprised of trial courts and a Supreme Court.  The tribe has a Domestic Violence Program, including the Ernestine Walkingstick Domestic Violence Shelter, which provides the following services: victim advocacy, legal assistance, court accompaniment, transportation assistance, emergency shelter services 24/7, relocation services, crisis counseling, prevention education, and outreach activities.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians received a $495,000 grant from OVW in 2017 to support the exercise of SDVCJ.

 

Seminole Nation of Oklahoma

Exercising jurisdiction since July 6, 2015.      

Tribal Code

The Seminole Nation is located in south-central Oklahoma, approximately 45 miles east of Oklahoma City, and it includes most of Seminole County. The tribe owns 372 acres of federal trust land and approximately 53 acres of fee simple land.  An additional 35,443 allotted acres supplement the tribal land base which is checker-boarded throughout Seminole County. The Seminole Nation has a total of 17,000 tribal citizens, 5,315 of whom live in Seminole County.  The Tribal area tracked by the U.S. Census has a population of approximately 23,500. The population of that area is 25 percent Indian and 75 percent non-Indian.

The Seminole Nation reinstated judicial powers in October 2011, and is composed of a District Court and a Supreme Court.  Seminole tribal government includes a Domestic Violence Department, which provides services to both Native and non-Indian victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and/or dating violence. These services include victim advocacy, housing assistance, crisis intervention, transitional living assistance, court advocacy assistance, referral assistance, and shelter placement assistance.

The Seminole Nation has not received grant funding from the program authorized in VAWA 2013 to support the exercise of SDVCJ.

 

Sac and Fox Nation (OK)

Exercising jurisdiction since March 1, 2016.

Tribal Code

The Sac and Fox Nation is located in central Oklahoma, between Tulsa and Oklahoma City. The Nation has a total of 3,794 tribal members, 2,557 of whom live in Oklahoma.  The Tribal area tracked by the U.S. Census has a population of approximately 59,000. The population of that area is 15 percent Indian and 85 percent non-Indian. 

The Sac and Fox Nation’s court system was reestablished in 1985 and is composed of a District Court and a Supreme Court.   The tribe maintains a Family Violence Prevention Program, which provides legal advocates as well as emergency shelter, necessities, utility, and clothing. The program also has referral services for counseling, substance abuse, nutrition, disease prevention, exercise, parenting skills, educational services, and employment training.

The Sac and Fox Nation has not received grant funding from the program authorized in VAWA 2013 to support the exercise of SDVCJ.

 

Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma

Exercising jurisdiction since March 15, 2016.           

Tribal Code

The Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma is located in central Oklahoma, 3 miles east of Oklahoma City. The Nation has a total of 2,630 tribal members, 1,856 of whom live in Oklahoma.  The Tribal area tracked by the U.S. Census has a population of approximately 20,000. The population of that area is 13 percent Indian and 87 percent non-Indian. 

The Kickapoo court system was reestablished in 1991 and is composed of a District Court and a Supreme Court.  The tribe maintains a Family Violence Program, which provides services for domestic violence, including court advocacy, emergency shelter assistance, utility assistance, transportation assistance, crisis intervention, transportation assistance, as well as referrals for additional services. 

The Kickapoo Tribe has not received grant funding from the program authorized in VAWA 2013 to support the exercise of SDVCJ.

 

Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi (MI)

Exercising jurisdiction since March 18, 2016.           

Tribal Code

The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi is headquartered in the southwestern region of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. They also maintain satellite offices in Grand Rapids. Their service area includes reservation boundaries and surrounding counties including Kalamazoo, Calhoun, Ottawa, Kent Barry, Branch and Allegan Counties.  The Tribe has 1,445 members, 795 of whom live in the service area.  The reservation and off reservation rental housing units located on tribally owned land has a population of approximately 92. The population is 82 percent Indian and 18 percent non-Indian.

The Nottawaseppi Tribal Court system includes a Tribal Court, and a Supreme Court,  and employs a Domestic Violence Victim Advocate.  The tribe’s Social Services department provides support specific to domestic violence victims.

The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi has not received grant funding from the program authorized in VAWA 2013 to support the exercise of SDVCJ.

 

Muscogee (Creek) Nation (OK)

Exercising jurisdiction since March 28, 2016.           

Tribal Code

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation is located in central east Oklahoma. The Nation has a total of 69,162 tribal members, 55,991 of whom live in Oklahoma.  The Tribal area tracked by the U.S. Census has a population of approximately 782,000.  The population of that area is 14 percent Indian and 86 percent non-Indian. 

The Muscogee court system was reestablished in 1991 and is composed of a District Court and a Supreme Court.  The tribe maintains a Family Violence Prevention Program, which provides services for domestic violence, provides advocacy and supportive services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. Specific services include: assistance in locating emergency shelter, assistance with filing protective orders, court advocacy, crisis intervention, assistance in locating medical services, accompaniment to sexual assault nurse exam, legal advocacy, safety planning, emergency transportation, child sexual assault advocacy and family support, sexual assault exams, counseling referrals, limited financial assistance, and referrals for additional services depending on an individual’s needs.

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation has not received grant funding from the program authorized in VAWA 2013 to support the exercise of SDVCJ.

 

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SD/ND)

Exercising jurisdiction since May 1, 2016.     

Tribal Code

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe straddles the North Dakota and South Dakota border on the western portion of both states. Currently the reservation is about 1,000,000 total acres.  According to the U.S. Census, the reservation has a population of approximately 8,600, and the population is 78 percent Indian and 22 percent non-Indian.

The Standing Rock court system is composed of a Tribal Court and a Supreme Court.  The Tribal Court is presided over by a Chief Judge and an Associate Chief Judge.  The Supreme Court meets up to four times a year, and is presided over by a Chief Justice and two Associate Justices, none of whom can also serve as Judges in Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Court. 

The tribe’s Human Resource Department has created the position of a Victim Assistant/Advocate to work specifically with SDVCJ victims and serve as a liaison between tribal court prosecution and victims.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe received a $495,000 grant from OVW in 2017 to support the exercise of SDVCJ.

 

Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa (MI)

Exercising jurisdiction since December 13, 2016.     

Tribal Code

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe has a federally designated service area of 8,572 square miles across the 7 eastern counties of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is a rural area with an average population of 20.6 persons (Native and non-Native) per square mile. The Tribe has 9 reservations/trust land sites in the service area.  Currently there are 44,000 tribal members.  According to the U.S. Census, the reservation has a population of approximately 2,400, and is 60 percent Indian and 40 percent non-Indian.

The tribe’s court system has a two-tiered framework, with a trial-level court and an appellate court.  The tribe’s Advocacy Resource Center (ARC) is a direct service program that provides voluntary assistance and support to victims/survivors, family members, and friends. The Center maintains a 16-bed shelter called Aakdehewin Gaamig-Lodge of Bravery. Additionally, the ARC provides core services which include: crisis intervention, safety plan development, transportation assistance, domestic violence education, and referral services to community services for financial assistance, housing assistance, behavioral health, medical services, traditional medicine services, substance abuse, child care assistance, and legal aid assistance. The ARC provides emergency legal advocacy by helping victims apply for Personal Protection Orders (PPO) and attending PPO hearings. ARC also provides criminal justice advocacy, which includes working with victims to provide support around victims’ rights, notification when an offender is released from jail, working with law enforcement and/or prosecutors, crime victim impact statements, court criminal processes, hearing dates and times, court hearing safety plans, transportation assistance, accompanying victims to hearings, and informing victims about victim compensation programs.

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe has not received grant funding from the program authorized in VAWA 2013 to support the exercise of SDVCJ.

 

Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana

Exercising jurisdiction since February 1, 2017.         

Tribal Code

The Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana is located near the town of Charenton, Louisiana, off of Highway 90 between Lafayette and New Orleans. The current enrollment of Chitimacha is approximately 1,300.  According to the U.S. Census, the reservation has a population of approximately 660, and is 66 percent Indian and 34 percent non-Indian.

The Judicial Branch of the tribal government has both a Trial and Appellate Court.  The tribe’s Human Services department provides support to domestic violence victims.

The Chitimacha Tribe has not received grant funding from the program authorized in VAWA 2013 to support the exercise of SDVCJ.

 

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe (WA)

Exercising jurisdiction since June 5, 2017.    

Tribal Code

The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe is located on the Elwha River, along the north and northeast portion of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. The reservation includes 1,014 acres, and there are currently 882 enrolled tribal members.  According to the U.S. Census, the reservation and off-reservation trust land has a population of approximately 758, and is 88 percent Indian and 12 percent non-Indian. 

Lower Elwha has both a trial and appellate court. The Court seeks to integrate Western approaches to justice with cultural and customary paths. The Court maintains a successful adult and family Healing and Wellness Court that addresses substance abuse issues.  The tribe’s Family Advocacy Department promotes victim safety and autonomy through advocacy and community awareness, providing both direct and referral services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe has not received grant funding from the program authorized in VAWA 2013 to support the exercise of SDVCJ.

 

Quinault Indian Nation (WA)

Exercising jurisdiction since May 1, 2018.

Tribal Code

The Quinault Indian Nation is located on the southwest corner of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, and spans over 208,150 acres. The Nation includes the Quinault and Queets tribes and the descendants of five other coastal tribes: Quileute, Hoh, Chehalis, Chinook, and Cowlitz.  The Quinault Indian Nation has a Reservation population of approximately 1,400, 300 of whom are non-Indians.  The Quinault Indian Nation has not received grant funding from the program authorized in VAWA 2013 to support the exercise of SDVCJ.

 

Cherokee Nation (OK)

Exercising jurisdiction since May 17, 2018.   

Tribal Code

The Cherokee Nation includes a 7,000 square mile jurisdictional area covering all of eight counties and portions of six additional counties in Northeastern Oklahoma, and has jurisdiction over tribal assets which include 66,000 acres of land as well as 96 miles of the Arkansas Riverbed. The Cherokee Nation has 355,000 citizens, 26,000 of whom live within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. 

The Cherokee Nation Judicial Branch consists of three distinct tribal courts, the District Court, the Supreme Court and the Healing and Wellness Court. Each court is open to every person or entity in the 14-county Cherokee Nation jurisdictional area.   The Cherokee Nation has not received grant funding from the program authorized in VAWA 2013 to support the exercise of SDVCJ.

 

Gila River Indian Community

Exercising jurisdiction since August 1, 2018.

Tribal Code

The Gila River Indian Community is located 17 miles south of downtown Phoenix, Arizona. The reservation spans 600 square miles. The tribe is composed of two distinct tribes – the Akimel O’otham (Pima) and the Pee-Posh (Maricopa).  The tribe has approximately 20,000 members. The Gila River Indian Community Court was established in 1960, and includes two Courts that service different geographic areas of the community. The Court currently has a staff of 58, including a Chief Judge and 5 Associate Judges.  Gila River Indian Community received a $495,000 grant from OVW in 2017 to support the exercise of SDVCJ.