Tony West

Advisory Committee on Native Children Exposed to Violence Holds Final Hearing

ANCHORAGE, Alaska –The Advisory Committee of the Attorney General’s Task Force on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence convenes its final public hearing in Anchorage, Alaska, today. The hearing, which commenced June 11, will examine the wide-ranging impact of violence on children in Alaska Native communities and consider programs to effectively support these children and promote healing.

Read more at the Indian Country Today Media Network website.Indian Country Today Media Network logo

AG West Delivers Remarks at the Thirty-second Annual Protecting Our Children Conference

Notwithstanding setbacks like the Baby Girl decision, we will continue to stand up for ICWA because, as we said in the Supreme Court, it’s “a classic implementation of Congress’s plenary [trust] responsibility . . . for Indians.”  You see, for us, standing up for ICWA means standing strong for tribal sovereignty.  “Nothing could be more at the core of tribal self-determination and tribal survival,” we said during oral argument in the Baby Girl case, “than . . . [determining] tribal membership and . . .  [caring] about what happens to Indian children.”

Department of Justice sealSee the full transcript of the Attorney General’s remarks at the Department of Justice website.

Attorney General’s Task Force on Native Children Exposed to Violence Holds Second of Four Meetings

About 75 people attended the all-day hearing at Talking Stick Resort near Scottsdale. It was the second of four across the country to secure testimony and information so the task force can generate policy recommendations for Attorney General Eric Holder.

In December, the committee was in Bismarck, N.D. The final two hearings are scheduled in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Anchorage, Alaska.

Read more about the task force meeting at the Casa Grande Dispatch website.

Transcript of Associate Attorney General Tony West’s Remarks at the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on American Indian/Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence Hearing (February 11, 2014)
Department of Justice seal


We’ve come together today – from communities throughout the southwest and from across the country – to address a serious and urgent problem: the problem of violence and its effect on American Indian and Alaska Native children.

We know that more than 60 percent of all children in the United States are exposed to some form of violence, crime, or abuse, ranging from brief encounters as witnesses to serious violent episodes as victims.  Almost 40 percent are direct victims of 2 or more violent acts.

And for our children who are American Indian and Alaska Native, current research doesn’t give us a complete picture of its scope, but we know that they native are particularly vulnerable to encountering violence and trauma.  A 2008 report by the Indian Country Child Trauma Center calculated that native youth are two-and-a-half times more likely to experience trauma when compared with their non-native peers.

Read the full transcript at the Department of Justice website.