Attorney General Lockyer Creates Office of Native American Affairs Within Department of Justice
(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today announced the creation of an Office of Native American Affairs within the Department of Justice. Two Native American employees of the department, Olin Jones and Marcia Hoaglen, were named to head the new office.
"California's Native American governments are important partners in our state," Lockyer said. "The Office of Native American Affairs will help foster respectful government to government relationships with California's sovereign Indian Nations."
Olin Jones, a member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, was named as the Director of the Office of Native American Affairs. Jones has spent the last decade working closely with Native American tribes on crime prevention issues and improved access to health and welfare resources. He has been a Program Manager for the Attorney General's Crime and Violence Prevention Center since 1996. From 1989 to 1996, Jones worked for the Governor's Office of Criminal Justice Planning (OCJP) and served as a liaison to California's Native American community. At OCJP, Jones developed the state's first grant funding program crafted specifically to benefit Native Americans on tribal lands. Jones is a graduate of the University of North Dakota.
Marcia Hoaglen, a member of the Round Valley Tribes of Mendocino County, was named Assistant Director for the Office of Native American Affairs. Hoaglen has been an advocate on behalf of Native Americans for nearly three decades. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, she worked for the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation and the Seattle Indian Health Board in Washington. From 1978 - 1982 Hoaglen helped provide medical and dental services for California's Indian Tribes as a staff member for the California Rural Indian Health Board. Hoaglen has worked for the Department of Justice for more than twelve years.
The Office of Native American Affairs will be responsible for advising the Attorney General on matters of importance to California's 107 sovereign Indian Nations and the nearly 300,000 Californians of Native American descent. California's Indian tribes are sovereign nations that share common interests with the state on a wide variety of issues, including: water quality, environmental protection, land-use decisions, public safety and the administration of justice.
By working closely with California's Native American tribes, the office will ensure that tribal governments are given the opportunity to cooperate with the state on matters of mutual concern as well as serve as a liaison between the department's legal and law enforcement divisions and tribal governments. The office will also help the Department of Justice serve California's Native American population who do not reside on tribal lands.
"There is much more to California's relationship with Indian tribes than gaming," Lockyer said. "We share a commitment to protecting the environment, improved public safety on and off tribal land and numerous other quality of life issues."