Jan 19, 2015 - Article on ND US Attorney Tim Purdon by Al Baker
Since 2013 North Dakota’s United States Attorney, Timothy Purdon has been chair of the Native American Issues Subcommittee (NAIS) of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys (AGAC). I know Tim. He has appeared before me when I was a Hearing Officer for the North Dakota Department of Transportation. He is a very good attorney. He is a very effective advocate.
I did not know that he held such an important position until I saw several news releases about the United States Attorney General’s new policy that would allow the growing and selling of marijuana in sovereign Indian Country. At first I thought I was going to write about this recognition of sovereign rights in Indian Country, but after a little contemplation I decided a better topic was the resource available to tribes in North Dakota.
“The NAIS is made up of 30 U.S. Attorneys from across the United States whose Districts contain Indian Country or one or more federally recognized tribes. The NAIS focuses exclusively on Indian Country issues, both criminal and civil, and is responsible for making policy recommendations to the Attorney General of the United States regarding public safety and legal issues that impact tribal communities.” U.S. Justice Department, Press Release, dated February 5, 2013. http://www.justice.gov/usao-wdok/pr/us-attorneys-timothy-q-purdon-and-sanford-c-coats-lead-attorney-general-s-native. In the press release Attorney General Holder states, “The Native American Issues Subcommittee, the oldest subcommittee of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, is vital to the department’s mission in Indian Country to build and sustain safe and secure communities for future generations,” Id. The NAIS is made up of 30 U.S. Attorneys from across the United States whose Districts contain Indian Country or one or more federally recognized tribes. The NAIS focuses exclusively on Indian Country issues, both criminal and civil, and is responsible for making policy recommendations to the Attorney General of the United States regarding public safety and legal issues that impact tribal communities. Id.
About 2.9 million (about 0.9 percent of the US population) American Indian/Alaska Natives live in the United States. National Congress Of American Indians, demographics at http://www.ncai.org/about-tribes/demographics. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the number of American Indian/Alaska Natives living in North Dakota is just over 39,000. United States Census Bureau, Quick Facts. If my math is right that means that the American Indian/Alaska Natives population in North Dakota is just 1.3% of the total American Indian/Alaska Natives population of the United States. That gives the American Indian/Alaska Natives in North Dakota exceptional access to the Chairman of this vital committee responsible public policy on Indian Country. Attorney General Holder also said he was confident that U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon had the expertise and dedication to lead the Native American Issues Subcommitteeas the Justice Department worked to fulfill its role in protecting and serving the country’s first Americans. Press Release.
U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon should make an excellent resource for Real Indians trying to influence government policy for the betterment of American Indian/Alaska Natives in North Dakota and throughout the United States.