Choctaw Tribe Tackles Injuries, Family Violence

By  | 

Last week, the Choctaw's programs were named two of the 16 finalists for Harvard University's 2002 American Indian tribal governance awards program.

Using a combination of federal grants and 25 percent tribal matching funds, the Choctaw are spending $300,000 a year on two initiatives: The Community Injury Prevention and Family Violence and Victim's Services programs.

It's a combination of education, new civil and criminal codes and enforcement.

Tribal drinking and driving incidents dropped by nearly 72 percent to 84 in 2002 from 296 1999.

No accidental poisonings have been reported in three years.

About 1,800 school-age children have taken bicycle safety classes and 350 received free bike helmets.

The tribe estimates that 80 percent of adults now use seat belts, compared to 30 percent in 1996.