AG Barr announces $42 million in tribal grants to combat crime and help victims in rural Alaska

U.S. Attorney General William Barr met with Native leaders in Anchorage in May to discuss rural justice issues. (Photo by Joey Mendolia, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage)

Speaking to the Alaska Federation of Natives convention in Fairbanks Thursday, U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced the Justice Department has awarded $42 million in grants to help rural Alaska cope with the high rates of crime and violence. 

“These funds will support a wide variety of programs aimed at improving law enforcement, public safety infrastructure and services for victims of crime,” he said, via video link from Washington, D.C.

The money comes from Justice Department programs intended for tribes. It’s slated to go to tribal councils, women’s shelters, youth programs, substance abuse programs and policing.

Barr said $7 million is headed for the Denali Commission to distribute micro-grants.

“And through this grant, the Denali Commission will help tribes who have not traditionally received federal funding to create and implement crucial victim services,” Barr said.

Barr toured rural Alaska villages in May to see the impact of crime on rural Alaska. In June he declared an emergency to direct federal funds to the crisis.

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Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Alaska Public Media. She reports from the U.S. Capitol and from Anchorage. Reach her at

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