Pilot Project

VAWA 2013 provides that tribes can begin exercising Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction (SDVCJ) any time after March 7, 2015. As of August 2015, a total of eight tribes have implemented SDVCJ. A table summarizing tribal implementation of VAWA and enhanced sentencing authority under the Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA) can be viewed here.

Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation

Tribal code
Reservation land base: 2,093,318 acres (3,289 square miles)
Population: 10,321 (as of 2000 Census)

About Fort Peck: The Fort Peck Indian Reservation is home to the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, which are two separate Nations and comprise numerous bands and divisions within. 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. The Tribe received federal approval to exercise special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction as a part of DOJ's Pilot Project on March 6, 2015.

Current stats at-a-glance since September 2015:

·    No arrests for SDVCJ


Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

Tribal code 
Reservation land base: 173,470 acres
Population: 2,927 (as of 2000 Census)

About Umatilla: The Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla people make up the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. The three bands were brought together on the Umatilla Indian Reservation, established by a Treaty with the U.S. Government in 1855. The bands were united as a single tribal government in 1949 when their leaders adopted a constitution and by-laws. With over 2900 tribal members and a land base of 173,470 acres, the Umatilla Tribes began exercising special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction as part of DOJ's Pilot Project on February 20, 2014.

Current stats at-a-glance since September 2015:

·    6 arrests for SDVCJ

¡  4 convictions

¡  Those who have been convicted are subject to tribal probation, including the requirement to undergo batterer intervention treatment provided by the tribe

¡  In 2012, 60% of the cases seen by the Umatilla Victims Services Program were non-Indian 


Eastern Band of Cherokee

Tribal code 

Reservation land base: 56,688 acres

Population: 6,311

About Eastern Band of Cherokee: Eastern Band of Cherokee lands include 52 tracts that total 56,688 acres scattered across five North Carolina counties (Cherokee, Graham, Jackson, Macon & Swain). Most of this land is known as the Qualla Boundary. All lands are held in common by the Tribe, with possessory holdings issued to individuals. Towns within the boundary include Big Cove, Birdtown, Paintown, Snowbird, Wolftown and Yellowhill. The tribe implemented Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction on June 8, 2015.

Current stats at-a-glance since September 2015:

·    3 arrests for SDVCJ

¡  2 convictions

Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians

Tribal code 

Reservation land base: 336 square miles

Population: 4,000 members

·  Native News Online article about tribal assumption of jurisdiction

About LTBB: In 1994, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (LTBB) was federally reaffirmed with the signing of Public Law 103-324. The Tribe has more than 4,000 members with a large number living within Charlevoix and Emmet Counties in Michigan. The historically delineated reservation area, located in the north-western part of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, encompasses approximately 336 square miles of land within the two counties. The tribe passed a code implementing Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction on March 9, 2015.

Current stats at-a-glance since September 2015:

·    No arrests for SDVCJ

Pascua Yaqui Tribe

Tribal code
Reservation land base: 1,194 acres
Population: 3,315 (as of 2000 Census)

Current stats at-a-glance since September 2015:

  • The Tribe has had a total of 21 SDVCJ cases, involving 15 non-Indian males:
    • 6 total convictions
    • 11 perpetrators had criminal records in the state of Arizona.
    • 6 of the perpetrators had previously been arrested by the State of Arizona for violent crimes, weapons, or threats.
    • 11 of the 18 cases involved children (18 total), all under the age of 11.
    • 2 of the perpetrators had outstanding arrest warrants.
    • 4 of the cases were serious enough to warrant referral for federal prosecution.
  • Since the first arrest of a non-Indian defendant, non-Indians account for 25 percent of the tribe's domestic violence cases.
  • In total, the 15 non-Indian defendants had more than 80 documented tribal police contacts, arrests, or reports attributed to them in the last 6 years.

About Pascua Yaqui: The Pascua Yaqui Tribe is located in southwest Arizona on a land base of 1194 acres. With a tribal population of 3315 (and over 90% American Indian), the Pascua Yaqui Tribe began exercising special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction as part of DOJ's Pilot Project on February 20, 2014.


Seminole Nation of Oklahoma

Tribal code 

Reservation land base: 633 square miles

About Seminole Nation of Oklahoma: Located in south-central Oklahoma, the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma extends through most of Seminole County, which is approximately 45 miles east of Oklahoma City. Seminole County comprises a checkerboard of tribal trust property, Indian allotments, restricted Indian lands, and dependent Indian communities. Native Americans account for 22% of the population of Seminole County. Total enrollment of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma is approximately 17,000 members. The Seminole Nation of Oklahoma implemented Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction on July 16, 2015.

Current stats at-a-glance since September 2015:

·    No arrests for SDVCJ

Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation

Tribal code 

Reservation land base: 106,153 acres

Population: 10,408 (as of 2000 Census)

About Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate: The Sisseton and Wahpeton comprise two subdivisions of the Dakotah Indians and reside on the Lake Traverse Reservation, established by treaty in 1867. This reservation extends into five counties in northeast South Dakoka and two counties in southeast North Dakota. The Nation has 13,177 enrolled members with approximately 9,894 members living on the Reservation. The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate received approval to exercise special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction as part of the DOJ Pilot Project on March 6, 2015.

Current stats at-a-glance since September 2015:

·    1 arrest for SDVCJ


Tulalip Tribes

Tribal code 
Reservation land base: 22,567 acres
Population: 9,246 (as of 2000 Census)

About Tulalip: The Tulalip Tribes are the successors in interest to the Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skykomish and other allied tribes and bands signatory to the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott. With a tribal population of 4000 and growing—and 2500 members residing on the 22,000 acre Tulalip Indian Reservation, the Tulalip Tribes began exercising special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction as part of the DOJ Pilot Project on February 20, 2014.

Current stats at a glance since September 2015:

·   11 SDVCJ cases

·    7 convictions

·    28 charges total

·   1 dismissed

·   1 federal

·   1 pending