Tribes Strengthen Wildlife Conservation Efforts Through Game & Fish Law Enforcement Officer Training
For Immediate Release
July 21, 2014
To meet a unique requirement for Tribal wildlife law enforcement officers, federal agencies partnered with the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society (NAFWS) to host a week-long intensive training program. All Federal law officers are required to receive 40 hours of annual in-service training. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Law Enforcement policy mandates the same training requirements for Tribal law enforcement officers. As a result, Thirty-eight Tribal conservation officers attended the instruction representing 14 Tribes, to include: Oglala Sioux Tribe, Pueblo of Jemez, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, Crow Tribe, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Spirit Lake Nation, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, Three Affiliated Tribes, Navajo Nation, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Fort Belknap Tribe, Shoshone-Bannock Tribe, Mescalero Tribe, and Columbia River Inter-tribal Fisheries Commission.
"This is probably one of the first times that there were this many officers from the Southwest tribes and this added to the success of the training,” said Emerson Bullchief, Historic Preservation Officer for the Crow Tribe and a Board Director in the NAFWS. “The Society is committed to making sure tribal conservation law officers are getting the training they need for anything that they would ever encounter out there in the field for their safety."
The Tribal officer training was held in Billings, Montana, on June 9–13, 2014. The training program was led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) with the assistance of tribal instructors from Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and Three Affiliated Tribes along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The Crow Tribe hosted this year’s effort while working closely with NAFWS Great Plains Region. The NAFWS provided logistical support, planning assistance and Simunition® equipment for the participants.
“Training in Indian Country has always been a need, a great need, because a lot of the other (Tribal) agencies don’t have instructors,” said Mike Kennedy, Society member and Cheyenne River Sioux Conservation officer. “So, a lot of times we rely on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to give that instruction to us,” Kennedy added. “NAFWS has provided funding for equipment, like where I live in Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe; they sent us to training—to be instructors—so we could train our own people. The Society found the need was so great that we expanded it and now we train other departments.”
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