AKWESASNE — Following the unveiling of a new logo design earlier this month, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Courts is continuing its efforts to develop a justice system that reflects the needs of the Akwesasne community. To support this effort, the Tribal Courts received a Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) grant to gain feedback from tribal members on their thoughts and experiences with court systems in and around Akwesasne.
The CTAS grant was provided by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance to support three (3) phases of the justice system’s continued development, with an important component being a needs assessment through the engagement of community members. This entails holding listening circles with focus groups and key stakeholders, as well as conducting a Justice Strategy Needs Assessment Survey.
“The CTAS grant provides tribal members with a chance to study and better understand justice as it affects the Akwesasne community,” shared Chief Judge Carrie Garrow. Judge Garrow added, “This is an important opportunity for tribal members to have their voice heard and to help shape our community’s justice system into the future.”
The justice survey poses questions to tribal members in five (5) areas: (1) Elder Abuse Prevention and Response; (2) Reentry/Reintegration and Recidivism Prevention; (3) Youth Justice Alternatives; (4) Domestic Violence Protective Orders; and a (5) Tribal Criminal Justice System. Before the Tribal Court would exercise criminal jurisdiction, the proposed plan would be brought before tribal members for approval in a formal referendum.
The survey is currently available for tribal members to complete on the Tribal Members Portal that can be accessed from the Tribe’s website at www.srmt-nsn.gov. It is informal and all responses will be kept anonymous. For help accessing the portal, please contact the Tribe’s Communications Department at (518) 358-2272.
A printed version of the survey is also available at the Tribal Courts Building located at 882 State Route 37, or by emailing email@example.com. The deadline to complete the justice survey is Monday, Tsiothóhrha/December 19, 2022. Individuals who complete the survey will be eligible for a $50 Twin Leaf Gift Card and other prize drawings.
The data collected from the Justice Needs Assessment Survey will be used to develop a long-term Justice Strategic Plan to address identified needs, so it is important to share your thoughts and experiences with court systems associated with the Akwesasne community.
To share more information about the Justice Needs Assessment Survey, a radio talk show will be held on Wednesday, Kenténha/October 26, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. on CKON 97.3fm. The talk show will be recorded and made available on the Tribal Members Portal.