Office of Justice Programs

Indian Country

Indian Tribes/Nations/Pueblos Implementing SORNA

There are currently 134 tribal jurisdictions that have substantially implemented SORNA's requirements. Substantial Implementation Reports for each of these tribal jurisdictions are available on the SORNA page.

Substantial Implementation Reports: Indian Country

For more information about those Indian nation, tribe, and pueblo registration and notification systems that have been found to have substantially implemented SORNA, please see the SMART Office reviews.

Adam Walsh Act

Pursuant to §127 of the Adam Walsh Act all federally recognized Indian tribes are entitled to elect whether to carry out the requirements of this section or delegate the functions to the state(s) in which the tribal land is located.

Tribal Resolutions Pursuant to the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 lists all 562 federally recognized tribes, indicates their eligibility to elect to fulfill sex offender registry functions under the Walsh Act, and indicates which tribes have made such an election.

Tribal Training & Technical Assistance

The SMART Office’s training and technical assistance team can provide support to tribes, nations and pueblos working towards substantial implementation. Typical methods of assistance have been arranged through onsite assistance, utilizing conference calls or webinar technology, peer-to-peer support as well as onsite support with training and community outreach events. If your tribal jurisdiction is interested in receiving assistance, please fill out the SORNA Tribal Training and Program Assistance Request Form and return it to Fox Valley Technical College via email or fax to: or 920-831-5400.

SORNA Implementation

The SMART Office has developed the SORNA Implementation Policy and Procedures Guide to assist tribes with creating their own policy and procedures manual to describe their sex offender registration and notification program. The SORNA Implementation Policy and Procedures Guide should only be used as a starting point for developing policy and procedures for a specific tribe.

The SMART Office has posted the following FBI documents to assist tribal jurisdictions in capturing and submitting finger and palm prints:

DNA Submission by SORNA Tribal Jurisdictions

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) requires DNA samples to be taken from sex offenders for purposes of analysis and entry into the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) during the registration process if DNA has not be taken and submitted previously. Some states are working with tribal jurisdictions that have elected to implement SORNA to help procure, preserve and submit DNA samples from sex offenders for entry into CODIS and to complete all of the requisite follow through that occurs on a match between an offender and a forensic profile, or “cold hit.” Where such cooperation and coordination is possible, SORNA tribal jurisdictions should include memorandums of understanding, or cooperative agreements, regarding DNA submissions as part of their substantial implementation submission to the SMART Office. Tribes are encouraged to work with the states to establish procedures for this SORNA DNA requirement.

Some states, however, are precluded by state statute, regulation or policy from accepting and processing DNA samples directly from tribal law enforcement entities. Because of this, the SMART Office has worked with the FBI DNA Database Unit to establish a federal “work around” wherein eligible tribal jurisdictions may submit DNA directly to the FBI DNA Database Unit. Tribal jurisdictions that choose to use this federal submission process must be able to take DNA samples according to the directions and standards set by the FBI and complete the required FBI form, which must include, among other items, data on each sex offender’s conviction and personal information, two fingerprints, and valid and verifiable agency contact information. The procedures for taking the sample must be followed diligently and all submissions must be complete to ensure that the submissions can be tested and the data entered into CODIS. For information on how to use the kit, see the FBI’s DNA Kit Collection Instructions.

Tribal agencies should be aware that a sex offender DNA submission could result in a cold hit and that follow-up, validation, investigation and cooperation with other investigation agencies — including the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, state and local law enforcement, and tribal police — may be necessary.

Please note that contracting with a private laboratory is not sufficient for DNA submission for sex offender registration because private laboratories cannot submit their DNA profiles to CODIS. Further, there is no need to retain samples; samples should be taken and submitted for analysis.

To Order DNA Collection Kits

The FBI provides the DNA sample kits free of charge to SORNA tribal registration jurisdictions. Kits can be ordered through the FBI’s Buccal Collection Kit Reorder Form.

Inquiries regarding DNA kits can be directed to the FBI’s Federal DNA Database Unit:

Phone: 703-632-7529
Fax: 703-632-7620
Mail: Federal DNA Database Unit, 2501 Investigation Parkway, Quantico, VA 22135

Please contact the SMART Office for information on how to request additional time to implement SORNA.

The Procedure for Delegation of Tribal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Responsibilities describes how the SMART Office determines that a tribe is unable to implement SORNA within a reasonable amount of time.

Tribal Access Program

The SMART Office is pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has established the Tribal Access Program (TAP) to provide tribal jurisdictions access to federal crime information databases. This program is heavily informed and driven by tribes, pueblos, and nations working to implement SORNA and by the SMART Office's commitment to resolving the information sharing issues brought to our attention by our tribal jurisdictions. The SMART Office worked with DOJ's Justice Management Division and the Office of Tribal Justice to find a solution for all tribes. Visit the Tribal Access Program page for more information.


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