On March 4, U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange at the District Court Chambers in Pierre, South Dakota swore in Erin Shanley, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, as Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
In an announcement on March 12, United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson said that Shanley started her duties on January 14 and is headquartered at Standing Rock Tribal Court, Office of the Prosecutor, in Fort Yates, North Dakota, according to a news release by the United States Attorney’s Office – District of South Dakota.
The new position is a result of a historic Memorandum of Understanding that was signed July 10, 2012 between the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the United States Attorneys’ Offices in the District of South Dakota and the District of North Dakota. Funding for the position is provided by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women.
Johnson who was the past Chairman of the Justice Department’s Native American Issues Subcommittee began the proposal for this position while in that role; and has made the prosecution of cases involving violence against women a top priority while serving as U.S. Attorney.
Shanley’s new role will oversee the prosecution of cases involving domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking that are committed within the boundaries of the SRST, the news release states. Her authority to pursue those cases in federal court will extend in both South Dakota and North Dakota as well as in Standing Rock Tribal Court, and will include close collaboration with Assistant U.S. Attorneys in both states on these cases.
Prior to this appointment, she was Assistant Prosecutor for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe in Arizona.