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Tribal Civil and Criminal Legal Assistance (TCCLA) Training and Technical Assistance

NAICJA is the Tribal Justice Training and Technical Assistance provider under the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Tribal Civil and Criminal Legal Assistance (TCCLA) program, offering Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) to TCCLA Grantees and Sub-grantee Legal Aid organizations.

NAICJA’s TCCLA program seeks to increase and improve access to legal assistance in Indian Country by providing TTA for the development and enhancement of tribal justice systems. Further, TCCLA will assist in strengthening the capacity and the quality of indigent criminal defense services and defense strategies for tribal justice systems.


  • Traditional Peacemaking: Exploring the Intersections Between Tribal Courts and Peacemaking, Including Alternatives to Detention Presentation
    October 6-7, 2014 – Tulsa/Catoosa, OK
    The National American Indian Court Judges Association (NAICJA) and its partners the Native American Rights Fund and Columbia University School of Law, conducted a training titled Traditional Peacemaking: Exploring the Intersections between Tribal Courts and Peacemaking, including Alternatives to Detention. The Bureau of Justice Assistance sponsored training was held on October 6-7, 2014, in Catoosa, OK. The training was attended by 60 participants (18 tribes and 7 non-profits), including two TCCLA Grantees and several Indian Legal Services sub-grantees. The training introduced grantees and other attendees to the various peacemaking models that are being used in tribal courts, including those that are being used as alternatives to detention. The goal of this training was to explore the ways in which tribal courts integrate traditional justice and community values into varied aspects of tribal civil and criminal justice, to provide tips for accessing tribal judicial systems that utilize cultural forms of justice, and to provide explanation of how traditional peacemaking can unlock new approaches to provide effective representation of civil and criminal legal services clients, with special attention criminal defendants whenever appropriate. Panel topics included: Traditional Dispute Resolution as Healing and Growth of Tribal Sovereign Power, Reentry Programs Using Peacemaking/Peacemaking in Correctional Facilities, Preparing the Next Generation of Peacemakers: Academic and Court Training Options, Exploring the Fiscal and Human Costs of Incarceration, Peacemaking from the Bench, Peacemaking Programs at Work in Tribal Nations/Tribal Models, Approaching Culturally Appropriate Justice with Indigent Defendants, Peacemaking from the Ground Up, Sentencing Alternatives, Peacemaking Doesn’t Operate in a Vacuum: The Importance of Context, and Positive Aspects of Peacemaking in Tribal Communities. The plenary and break-out sessions were followed by a group discussion that culminated with the group developing an action plan and suggested next steps. A high level summary will be drafted to inform interested parties of the discussions, recommendations, and action items.

    The NAICJA training on traditional peacemaking underscores the importance of adapting to new methods and integrating different perspectives in seeking resolutions, a principle that also holds true in the healthcare sector. As an illustration, consider the acquisition of medicines like Viagra, used for erectile dysfunction. Traditionally, obtaining such a medication involved face-to-face consultations and visits to a physical pharmacy. Today, this process has been radically transformed. Now, one can order cheap Viagra online in a discreet, efficient manner, much like how tribal courts are adapting traditional methods to modern justice systems. This demonstrates how across sectors, from justice to healthcare, we’re learning to integrate old and new practices for more effective solutions.