Tlingit & Haida Awarded $1.1 Million Tribal Homeland Security Grant

JUNEAU, AK – The Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska announced its Public Safety Division has been awarded a $1.1 million Tribal Homeland Security Grant through a competitive review process under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program (THSGP) is funded under the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2022 to strengthen the capacity of tribal nations to prepare for and respond to emergency situations. The federally funded program is an important component of the implementation of the National Preparedness System that supports the building, sustainment and delivery of core capabilities essential to achieving the National Preparedness Goal of a secure and resilient nation.

Funding through the THSGP can be used for a wide array of security-related activities such as planning, equipment and critical emergency supplies, training, travel, as well as construction and renovation.

Tlingit & Haida’s Public Safety Division aims to protect people and communities in Southeast Alaska through the administration of the Village Public Safety Officer, Wildland Fire, Office of Emergency Management, and Tribal Occupational Safety & Health programs and will utilize the funds for a three-year project to build the Tribe’s emergency response capacity by implementing a Volunteer Responders Training program.

“Tlingit & Haida’s Public Safety Division has served a critical role in keeping our tribal citizens and communities safe,” said Public Safety Director Jason Wilson. “We’ve not only worked with communities to develop and implement local emergency preparedness plans, we’ve been the boots on the ground for many emergency situations. Most of our rural Southeast Alaska communities are not connected by a road system and are only accessible by air or water. In addition to strengthening our communications system, volunteer responders can be critical to our emergency response efforts, especially when time is everything for search and rescue, disaster response, and emergency medical assistance.”

The Public Safety Division also was recently awarded continuation grants from the State of Alaska for the Village Public Safety Officer program and from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for the tribe’s First Responders-Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Opioid Overdose Response program.