The U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday it will award more than $4.6 million to Minnesota tribes to fight violent crime and help victims in American Indian communities.

The money will fund public safety efforts in five tribes, including the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians ($1.5 million), White Earth Reservation Tribal Council ($1.4 million), the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe ($810,821), the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe ($624,180) and the Upper Sioux Community ($243,008).

Minnesota U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald said in a statement that the money will go toward the "most pressing public safety needs, including violence against women, opioids and substance abuse." Since taking office last year, MacDonald has identified combating crime on reservations as a key priority for her office. "Our Native American communities deserve to thrive in safety and stability," she said in a statement.

The grants are part of a $273.4 million package of funding dispersed to American Indian and Alaska Native communities across the country.

Andy Mannix