Indian Country Crime

The FBI works in collaboration with Tribal police and other law enforcement agencies to investigate and enforce laws related to major crimes, such as homicides, kidnappings, and drug trafficking, that occur within its jurisdiction on Tribal lands.

The FBI's role also includes:

  • Initiatives related to Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP), domestic violence, and sex offenses
  • Victims services
  • Training for Indian country law enforcement officers
  • Reporting under the Tribal Law and Order
The Havasupai Falls on the Havasupai Indian Reservation

The Havasupai Indian Reservation is within the FBI's jurisdiction.


The FBI has special jurisdiction to investigate crimes committed on about 200 reservations nationwide. The FBI derives its jurisdiction primarily from two federal laws: the General Crimes Act and the Major Crimes Act, although there are other federal laws that provide further direction. Tribal law enforcement often handle matters related to tribal codes and regulations. 

Three conditions must be met for the FBI to investigate an alleged crime on a reservation: 

  1. The investigation must be predicated on a criminal act for which the FBI has jurisdiction—this includes crimes that would not fall under FBI jurisdiction if they occurred outside of a reservation. 
  2. The crime must have occurred on a reservation where the FBI has jurisdiction. 
  3. The subject, victim, or both, must be American Indian and Alaska Natives (AIAN).

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has empowered tribes to further address cases of violence against Indigenous women and girls, and gives them greater authority to incarcerate individuals. A better understanding of the prevalence of such violence—and the effectiveness of the current law enforcement response to it—can help improve future responses to these issues. 

Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) 

The FBI—along with our Tribal, Department of Justice, and Department of Interior partners—are committed to addressing the public safety and violence threats facing Native American families and communities. This includes working together to address MMIP.

Visit our MMIP page to learn more.

Victim Services in Indian Country 

The FBI is committed to ensuring that victims receive the rights they are entitled to and the assistance they need to cope with crime. Treating victims with respect and providing them with assistance benefits victims and helps us build better cases.

FBI Victims Services home page

Victim Specialists Support American Indian and Alaska Native Communities

Five victim specialists who support American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities reflect on their experiences.

Navajo Victim Specialist Shows How Role is Key to Supporting Crime Victims, Investigations

A Navajo victim specialist in the FBI's Phoenix Division shows how her background is an asset for Native American crime victims and investigators pursuing leads.


The FBI works with the Department of Justice and Bureau of Indian Affairs to provide training for federal, state, county, and Tribal law enforcement officers, including:

  • Indian country criminal investigator training
  • Death investigations
  • Child physical and sexual abuse investigations
  • Adult physical and sexual assault investigations
  • Gang and drug trafficking investigations
  • Public corruption investigations
  • Financial crime investigations
  • Crime scene management and evidence collection
  • Crisis negotiation and tactical training
  • Child forensic interviewing
  • Interviewing and interrogation

Indian Country Onboarding Program

The Indian Country Onboarding Program develops agents to operate with more autonomy and survivability and a more comprehensive investigative technique while working in Native American communities.

Indian Country News and Multimedia 

For additional stories and press releases, visit the Indian Country News page

Requests for Assistance to the FBI 

Any state, local, Tribal, territorial, or federal law enforcement agency may request assistance with unresolved cases to include MMIP. To request assistance, the following process must be completed:

  • Make a written request for FBI assistance on agency letterhead signed by the Requesting Agency Official (RAO) of the requesting Law Enforcement Agency (LEA).
  • Address the request directly to the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the FBI field office responsible for the area that includes the jurisdiction of the requesting agency.
  • Detail the type of assistance requested (technical, investigative, and/or analytical) and any relevant details of the investigation justifying FBI assistance.
  • The RAO request can be mailed directly to the field office or may be sent through email. To find more information about the areas of responsibility, visit the FBI Contact Us page.