Crime & Justice

U.S. attorney general to meet with Alaska Native leaders on Friday

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch will meet with Alaska Native leaders on Friday in Anchorage to talk about crime's impact on Natives and other issues.

The private meeting, scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. and last more than an hour, will include Karen Loeffler, the U.S. Attorney in Alaska.

The Obama administration has shown a strong interest in broadening the political, social and criminal justice roles played by Natives, such as supporting legislation that allowed tribal courts to prosecute some domestic violence crimes and taking steps to improve voter access.

In September, Obama started his three-day visit to Alaska by holding a private meeting with Native leaders. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in 2015 also met privately with Natives in Kotzebue after an invitation from the Alaska Federation of Natives to attend a board retreat there.

In 2014, a top Justice Department official came to Anchorage for a meeting of the National Congress of American Indians and said the government would pursue better access to the ballot box for Natives. And in 2013, a report ordered by Congress recommended Alaska's 229 recognized tribes get more authority to run their own criminal justice programs.

Alex DeMarban

Alex DeMarban is a longtime Alaska journalist who covers business, the oil and gas industries and general assignments. Reach him at 907-257-4317 or