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Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe gets $100K to combat domestic violence

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The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, like many American Indian tribes across the country, faces a number of challenges on its reservation: poverty and substandard schools among them.

But the band – which is a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe – is getting a little help in dealing with one of those challenges: domestic abuse.

According to a news release, a $100,000 federal grant will go to the Leech Lake Family Violence Prevention Program, a 24-hour crisis center that seeks to prevent such violence and provide support to abuse victims.

The band says it will use the money to hire additional staff and add "supportive services" for people who experience domestic violence.

The grant is part of the Indian Health Service's Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative (DVPI), which is aimed at developing culturally appropriate approaches to preventing and treating domestic and sexual abuse, and empowering tribes to address these problems in a "community-driven context."

It's a congressionally mandated program for tribal groups and organizations.

Founded in 2010, DVPI has funded 65 programs across the country, and helps provide a wide array of services – including case coordination, educational programs, the training of medical personnel, sexual assault response teams (SART), and even the purchase of forensic equipment, according to the official website. 

In a 2014 piece delving into life on American Indian reservations, the Washington Post wrote that a "toxic collection of pathologies," such as "poverty, unemployment, domestic violence, sexual assault, alcoholism and drug addiction," has been especially hard on Native American youth among the nation’s 566 tribes.

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