Native News Weekly (6/27/21): DC Political Files

Each week, Native News Online brings you the latest news from the Indian country and travels from Washington, DC in addition to Interior Sec. Deb Haaland establishing the Federal Indian Residential Schools Initiative on Tuesday, other events in our nation’s capital were; Confederate Salish and Kootenai Tribes secure National Buffalo Range lands; The Senate Indian Affairs Committee hosted a virtual roundtable to hear infrastructure needs in Indian countries, and Native American housing legislation was reintroduced.

Home Office transfers National Bison Range land in trust for Confederate Salish and Kootenai tribes

The US Department of the Interior on Wednesday announced the transfer of all land including the National Bison Range (NBR), approximately 18,800.22 acres, to the Office of Indian Affairs (BIA) to be held in trust for the Confederate Salish tribes and Kootenai (CSKT) from the Flathead Reservation in Montana.

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The land, which lies entirely within the boundaries of the reserve, has been transferred to the Office of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

“The creation of the National Bison Range was a historic use of land to preserve wildlife, but we must also recognize that this law reduced the homeland of the Salish and Kootenai peoples by thousands of acres. “ Senior Assistant Deputy Secretary – Indian Affairs, said Bryan Newland. “The return of these lands to the Confederate Salish and Kootenai tribes is truly a milestone in their relationship with the Home Office and the United States. “

the National range of bison was established on May 23, 1908, when President Theodore Roosevelt signed a law authorizing funds to purchase land for bison conservation. It was the first time that Congress appropriated taxpayer dollars to buy land specifically to preserve wildlife.

The 2021 Consolidated Finance Law (Public Law 116-260) approved the transfer by repealing the law that created the NBR. It also includes a two-year period for the transition of Range management from the USFWS to the Tribes.

Senate Indian Affairs Committee Held Roundtable On Infrastructure Needs In Indian Country

As President Joe Biden and a group of U.S. GOP senators tried to find a compromise on the administration’s proposed infrastructure plan, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee hosted a virtual roundtable on Wednesday to discuss infrastructure needs. in Indian country.

During the roundtable titled “Concrete Solutions: Building a Successful Foundation for Infrastructure Development in Indigenous Communities,” testimonies were heard from Indigenous communities with key tribal leaders and stakeholders on their needs.

“The critical infrastructure needs of indigenous communities such as roads, sanitation, electricity and housing have been well documented – but underfunded – for decades. We breached this with the CARES Act, but more importantly with the American Rescue Plan, which represented the largest investment in Indigenous communities in American history, ”said committee chair Bryan. Schatz (D-HI). “But it’s a shame that it took a global pandemic for us to recognize how these unmet needs are putting Indigenous communities behind the 8-ball in healthcare and economic recovery.

“It’s interesting. I’m going to start by making a statement that you already know firsthand, that there is no private market in our village communities, so the loan mechanisms are really difficult. Between the cost of delivering these homes and finding a way in a subsistence economy for our people to pay off some of their debt is really difficult, said Carol Gore, President and CEO of Cook Inlet Housing Authority.

“We cannot have an economy in rural Alaska without proper housing. “

Reflecting on a visit to the indigenous village of Savoonga in 2018, Vice President Murkowski (R-AK) commented, “I remember walking into a house and… there were so many people living in the house and so few. ‘places to sleep that people literally slept in shifts. I remember, as I was trying to move around this very overcrowded house, that one of the people who was sleeping in turn…, it does not even meet the definition of housing. It was something you don’t forget. Very impactful. “
To watch the full video of the audience, click on AFQjCNH5kmZgAFCY9aFF-gmaFGneLcJkaA “> here.

Reintroduction of the law on housing assistance and self-determination of Amerindians

the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act, 2021 was presented on Thursday.

This bipartite legislation builds on the successful Native American housing programs of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) authorized by the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA), including the Indian Housing Block Grant and Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant programs. Bills that would re-authorize the NAHASDA have been introduced at every successive convention since 2013.

The bill was first enacted during the Clinton administration in 1996 to provide federal dollars to Indian country tribes and native communities in Hawaii.

The legislation is supported by the National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC) and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

“This bill would help indigenous communities by including vital improvements to the NAHASDA, providing 10-year permissions for tribal housing programs, and creating an Indian Assistant Housing Secretary at HUD to give tribes a greater voice.” in important political and budgetary discussions. The NAIHC looks forward to working with the sponsors of this bill and all members of Congress to have the NAHASDA re-authorize this Congress, ”said NAIHC President Adrian Stevens.

The full text of the invoice is available here.

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Indigenous News Online Staff

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