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Indian Affairs Announces $500,000 in NABDI 2021 Grants Awarded to 10 Federally Recognized Tribes 

Funding will enable Tribal leaders to better evaluate, identify viable economic opportunities for their communities


September 16, 2021

WASHINGTON – Indian Affairs’ Office of Indian Economic Development (OIED) announced today that its Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) program has awarded business development grants totaling $500,000 to 10 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes. The funding will enable the Tribes’ leaders to better evaluate and identify viable economic opportunities for their communities.


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Interior Department and Intertribal Timber Council Strengthen Wildland Fire Management Collaboration

September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Intertribal Timber Council. As climate change propels larger, costlier and more complex wildfires, this agreement emphasizes the importance of collaborating on wildland fire management across departmental and Tribal lands. The MOU was announced during the Intertribal Timber Council Board of Director’s September quarterly meeting.

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Bryan Newland Ceremonially Sworn In as Interior Department Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs

September 8, 2021
WASHINGTON — Bryan Newland was ceremonially sworn in today as Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs by Secretary Deb Haaland. Bryan is a citizen of the Bay Mills Indian Community (Ojibwe), where he recently completed his tenure as Tribal President.

Buy-Back Program Sends Offers to Landowners with Fractional Interests at the Winnebago Reservation

Interested sellers have 45 days to respond to offers

September 7, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior announced that nearly 3,000 landowners with fractional interests at the Winnebago Reservation have been sent more than $22 million in purchase offers from the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations. Landowners who received offers have until October 22, 2021, to consider and return accepted offers in the pre-paid postage envelopes provided.


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VICE CHAIRMAN MURKOWSKI ANNOUNCES NEW COMMITTEE STAFF

September 7, 2021

 

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA), welcomes additional staff to the Committee and provided the following statement.

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Buy-Back Program Sends Offers to Landowners with Fractional Interests at the Lake Traverse Reservation

Interested sellers have until Sept. 27, 2021, to respond to offers

September 7, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior announced that nearly 3,500 landowners with fractional interests at the Lake Traverse Reservation in South Dakota have been sent more than $42 million in purchase offers from the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations. Landowners who receive offers have until Sept. 27, 2021, to consider and return accepted offers in the pre-paid postage envelopes provided.


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Buy-Back Program Sends Offers to Landowners with Fractional Interests at the Umatilla Reservation 

Interested sellers have until Sept. 24, 2021, to respond to offers


September 7, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior announced that more than 1,500 landowners with fractional interests at the Umatilla Reservation in Oregon have been sent nearly $30 million in purchase offers from the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations. Landowners who receive offers have until Sept. 24, 2021, to consider and return accepted offers in the pre-paid postage envelopes provided.


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Bureau of Indian Affairs Announces Land Records Regulations

Updates comport with HEARTH Act and TERAs, reflect 21st century

approach to managing Indian trust and restricted fee land records

August 18, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) announced today the finalization of updates to regulations modernizing how it maintains titles to federal Indian trusts and restricted fee lands. Among other important modifications, the BIA’s Land Title and Records Office (LTRO) now maintains title documents electronically with a framework for its continued operations and future electronic maintenance. The regulations were published in the Federal Register on August 16, 2021.

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TribalHub to Host Virtual Tribal Cybersecurity Summit, Sept 23, 2021

August 17, 2021

August 17, 2021 – TribalHub announces plans to host technology leaders and business executives from tribal governments, tribal enterprises and tribal health centers from across the nation for a one-day summit on cybersecurity for tribes. The event will be held virtually on September 23, 2021. Attendance is open and free for representatives at tribal organizations and enterprises; executive level decision makers and technology leaders are encouraged to participate in this unique event.


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Federal Coalition Announces Summit to Improve Broadband Access Across Indian Country

Registration Open for the 2021 National Tribal Broadband Summit

August 17, 2021

WASHINGTON –?A coalition of federal agencies are working together to address the issue of how to close the digital divide and increase internet access across Indian Country.?The Department of the Interior and the Institute of Museum and Library Services are partnering with the?Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Service and the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA) for the?2021 National Tribal Broadband Summit, taking place throughout the month of September as a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.?

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SCHATZ: MORE THAN $11 BILLION HEADED TO NATIVE COMMUNITIES TO BUILD WATER AND SANITATION INFRASTRUCTURE, IMPROVE TRIBAL TRANSPORTATION, EXPAND BROADBAND ACCESS ON NATIVE LANDS

August 10, 2021

 

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, voted to pass a bipartisan infrastructure deal that includes more than $11 billion in dedicated funding for Tribes and Native communities. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will deliver targeted federal resources to advance deployment of infrastructure in Native communities.

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Secretary Haaland, CEQ Chair Mallory Highlight Offshore Wind Developments in California with Federal, Tribal, State and Local Officials

August 10, 2021

EUREKA, Calif. ⁠— Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory were in Eureka, Calif., today with U.S. Representative Jared Huffman, California Energy Commissioner Karen Douglas, Tribal leaders and community officials to discuss offshore wind opportunities that will create jobs and strengthen the local economy.

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Secretary Haaland Discusses Tribal Climate Resilience, Broadband Internet Access in Visit to Washington  

August 9, 2021

TAHOLAH, Wash. ⁠— Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland traveled to Taholah, Wash., today, where she discussed the Biden-Harris administration’s historic investments in Tribal communities, including funding for climate resilience projects and broadband internet access.

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SCHATZ APPLAUDS CONFIRMATION OF BRYAN TODD NEWLAND FOR ASSISTANT SECRETARY-INDIAN AFFAIRS

Newland Is the Department of the Interior’s Highest-Ranking Senate-Confirmed Official in Indian Affairs


August 7, 2021

 

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, issued the following statement upon Senate confirmation of Mr. Bryan Todd Newland, of Michigan, to serve as Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior.

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SCHATZ LEADS INDIAN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE PASSAGE OF BIPARTISAN BILLS TO SUPPORT NATIVE LANGUAGES
August 4, 2021

 

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led committee passage of S.989, the Native American Language Resource Center Act of 2021, and S.1402, the Durbin Feeling Native American Languages Act of 2021, named after Cherokee linguist and Vietnam veteran Durbin Feeling, who passed away in 2020. The committee previously received testimony on these two bipartisan bills during an oversight and legislative hearing this past May.

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Buy-Back Program Sends Offers to Landowners with Fractional Interests at the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians Reservation 

Interested sellers have until Sept. 10 to respond to offers 

August 4, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior announced today more than 5,000 landowners with fractional interests at the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians Reservation have been sent more than $7 million in purchase offers from the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations. Landowners who received offers in July have until September 10, 2021, to consider and return accepted offers in the pre-paid postage envelopes provided. 


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Interior and Justice Departments Take Next Steps in Implementation of Not Invisible Act

Announce Call For Nominations For Commission Members and Upcoming Tribal Consultations

August 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Departments of the Interior and Justice today announced the next steps in implementing of the Not Invisible Act, including the publication of a solicitation for nominations?of non-federal members to join the Joint Commission. The Joint Commission will focus on reducing violent crimes against American Indians and Alaska Natives and address the long-standing missing and murdered Indigenous person crisis. The agencies are also moving forward with nation-to-nation conduct consultations with Tribal leaders related to the Commission and implementation of the Act.

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Statement on the Ninth Anniversary of the Signing of the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act
July 30, 2021

WASHINGTON – On the ninth anniversary of the signing of the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act of 2012, Department of the Interior Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Bryan Newland noted the legislation’s importance to Indian Country’s development:

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Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Bryan Newland Discusses Land Conservation, Economic Development During New Mexico Visit

July 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Bryan Newland spent several days in New Mexico this week to discuss issues of land conservation and energy development with Tribal leaders and other stakeholders in the Chaco Canyon region. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Newland also attended the opening of a newly rebuilt Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) site at the Laguna Pueblo and met with students and faculty at the BIE-operated Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, one of only two BIE-operated colleges.

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Secretary Haaland Highlights Conservation Efforts, Investments in Rural and Tribal Communities during Colorado Visit

Local efforts help advance Administration’s America the Beautiful initiative 

July 24, 2021

IGNACIO, Colo. — During a multi-stop tour across Colorado today, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland discussed the Department of the Interior’s support for rural and Tribal communities as the nation transitions to a robust, sustainable clean energy future. Secretary Haaland also highlighted locally led efforts to advance conservation and grow the state’s outdoor recreation economy. She was joined by Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera, and Bureau of Land Management Deputy Director, Policy and Programs Nada Culver.

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MURKOWSKI HIGHLIGHTS NEED FOR INDIAN WATER & SANITATION INFRASTRUCTURE, STRENGTHENING PROTECTIONS FOR NATIVE CHILDREN AT LEGISLATIVE HEARING

July 22, 2021

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA), spoke about the need to address the Indian Health Service sanitation facilities construction backlog and to protect Native children during a legislative hearing on S. 1797, the Urban Indian Health Providers Facilities Improvement Act; S. 1895, the Indian Health Service Sanitation Facilities Construction Enhancement Act; and H.R. 1688, the Native American Child Protection Act.

SCHATZ LEADS LEGISLATIVE HEARING TO SUPPORT NATIVE INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT, PROTECT NATIVE CHILDREN

July 21, 2021

 

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led an a legislative hearing to receive testimony on S.1797, the Urban Indian Health Providers Facilities Improvement ActS.1895, the Indian Health Service Sanitation Facilities Construction Enhancement Act, andH.R.1688, the Native American Child Protection Act. The committee heard from the Indian Health Service’s Deputy Director for Management and Operations Randy Grinnell, Department of the Interior’s Office of the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Senior Advisor Heidi Todacheene, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, National Indian Child Welfare Association President Gil Vigil, and National Council of Urban Indian Health Vice President Robyn Sunday-Allen.

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First Lady Dr. Jill Biden visits the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage to encourage all Alaskans to get vaccinated against COVID-19
July 21, 2021

Indian Affairs Announces FY 2021 Tribal Tourism Grants Availability 

Applications can include how Tribal tourism businesses recover and adapt to challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic

July 15, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Office of Indian Economic Development (OIED) announced today it is soliciting applications for its Fiscal Year 2021 Tribal Tourism Grant Program (TTGP). The deadline for applications is 9 p.m. EDT, Aug. 13, 2021.

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BIA Announces Over $6.5 Million in Energy and Mineral Development Grants Awarded to 34 Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations

July 1, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) announced today that it has awarded more than $6.5 million in Energy and Mineral Development Program (EMDP) grants to 27 federally recognized tribes and seven Alaska Native corporations in 15 states. The funding will aid their efforts to identify, study, design and/or develop projects using energy, mineral and natural resources, which, in turn, will help them achieve economic self-sufficiency by developing and controlling their own energy production capabilities.

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VICE CHAIRMAN MURKOWSKI CONTINUES DIALOGUE ON KEY NATIVE INFRASTRUCTURE POLICIES

June 25, 2021

 

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA), discussed important infrastructure development in Native communities with key tribal leaders and stakeholders during a SCIA roundtable on “Concrete Solutions: Building a Successful Foundation for Native Communities’ Infrastructure Development.”

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SCHATZ, MURKOWSKI, TESTER, HOEVEN INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN BILL TO ADVANCE NATIVE AMERICAN HOUSING PROGRAMS

Bill Will Reauthorize the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA)

June 24, 2021

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), vice chairman of the Committee, and U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.), former chairmen of the Committee, introduced the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act of 2021. U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) joined as original cosponsors.

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SCHATZ LEADS INDIAN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE ROUNDTABLE ON INFRASTRUCTURE DEPLOYMENT IN NATIVE COMMUNITIES

 June 24, 2021


WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led a roundtable discussion, “Concrete Solutions: Building a Successful Foundation for Native Communities’ Infrastructure Development,” to hear from Tribal, Native Hawaiian, and administration witnesses on improving deployment of infrastructure in Native communities.


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Interior Transfers National Bison Range Lands in Trust for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes 

June 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — In an important move to restore Tribal homelands, the Department of the Interior announced today the transfer of all lands comprising the National Bison Range (NBR), approximately 18,800.22 acres, to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to be held in trust for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) of the Flathead Reservation in Montana. The lands, which are completely within the boundaries of the reservation, were transferred to the Bureau from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

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Secretary Haaland Announces Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative

Outlines Path Forward on Troubled Legacy of Federal Boarding School Policies in Remarks to National Congress of American Indians

June 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — In remarks to the National Congress of American Indians 2021 Mid Year Conference today, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced a Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, a comprehensive review of the troubled legacy of federal boarding school policies.

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VICE CHAIRMAN MURKOWSKI EXAMINES NOMINATION OF BRYAN TODD NEWLAND TO BE ASSISTANT SECRETARY – INDIAN AFFAIRS

June 11, 2021

 

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), delivered an opening statement and questioned, Bryan Todd Newland, the nominee to be Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs (AS-IA) at the U.S. Department of the Interior. During the hearing, Vice Chairman Murkowski highlighted the importance and responsibility of the AS-IA job for all Native peoples across the country

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SCHATZ CONVENES NOMINATION HEARING TO CONSIDER ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR INDIAN AFFAIRS NOMINEE

If Confirmed, President Biden’s Nominee Bryan Newland Will Lead Indian Affairs at Department of the Interior

June 9, 2021

 

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led a nomination hearing to consider President Biden’s nomination of Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Todd Newland, of Michigan, to serve as Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs (AS-IA) at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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REMARKS BY VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS ON INVESTING IN BROADBAND
June 3, 2021
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you, Madam President.
Good morning to everyone. Secretary Gina Raimondo, Secretary Deb Haaland, I want to thank you both, on behalf of the President and myself, for your leadership.

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Department of Commerce’s NTIA Announces Nearly $1 Billion in Funding to Expand Broadband on Tribal Land

June 3, 2021

Vice President Harris, Secretary Raimondo and Secretary Haaland make announcement during White House event; Call for broadband investments in the American Jobs Plan

WASHINGTON – Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced today at the White House the availability of nearly $1 billion in U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) grants to expand broadband access and adoption on Tribal land. The leaders called for significant broadband investments in the American Jobs Plan to make affordable high-speed internet available to all Americans. Secretary Haaland joined the announcement remotely.


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BIA Issues Final EIS for Moapa Band’s Proposed Southern Bighorn Solar Project

June 3, 2021

Project will provide multiple benefits to Band members, help Nevada meet its renewable energy needs, and contribute to America’s clean energy future 

 

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) today issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians’ proposed Southern Bighorn Solar Project (“Project”). The Project would help advance the Biden-Harris administration’s all-of-government approach toward its ambitious renewable energy goals that will create jobs, boost local economies, and help address economic injustice.  

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VICE CHAIRMAN MURKOWSKI HIGHLIGHTS CONTINUED SUPPORT TO REVITALIZE AND PROTECT NATIVE LANGUAGES DURING HEARING

Committee Passes Murkowski Co-Led Bill to Protect and Preserve Items of Cultural Heritage from Illegal Theft and Trafficking

May 28, 2021

 

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (Committee), stressed the importance of revitalizing and protecting Native languages in Alaska during a Committee hearing on “Examining the COVID-19 Response in Native Communities: Native Languages One Year Later.” As part of the hearing, witnesses provided testimony on S. 1402 the Durbin Feeling Native American Languages Act of 2021 and S. 989 the Native American Languages Resource Act of 2021. The Committee also held a business meeting where they considered and passed S. 1471, the Safeguarding Tribal Objects of Patrimony (STOP) Act, which aims to better shield Native communities from the illegal theft and trafficking of tribal cultural heritage items.


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SCHATZ: BIPARTISAN CARCIERI FIX BILL HONORS TRIBAL SOVEREIGNTY, PROTECTS TRIBAL LANDS

May 28, 2021

 

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, released the following statement upon introduction of bipartisan Senate legislation to reaffirm the Interior Secretary’s authority to take land into trust for Indian Tribes. The bill would effectively overturn the Supreme Court’s 2009 decision in Carcieri v. Salazar.

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SCHATZ: PRESIDENT’S BUDGET A BOLD PROPOSAL FOR NATIVE COMMUNITIES

FY22 Budget Calls For Historic Funding, Policy Changes Long Requested by Tribes to Advance Native-Serving Programs

May 28, 2021

 

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, issued the below statement following President Biden’s release of his Fiscal Year 2022 budget request. The President’s budget contains $30.6 billion for Native-serving federal programs and includes several longstanding policy proposals called for by Tribes and Tribal organizations.

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VICE CHAIRMAN MURKOWSKI SECURES SENATE PASSAGE OF FOUR BILLS TO IMPROVE ALASKA NATIVE COMMUNITIES 

Better Health Care Services, Increased Protections for Native Children, & More Economic Development Opportunities

May 28, 2021

 

WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, the Senate approved eight bills that were passed by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, sending them to the House of Representatives. Four of the eight bills are led by Vice Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), including one bill that extends the reporting deadline for the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children, as well as three bills that will improve delivery of health care services in Alaska Native communities through federal land transfers.

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President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Makes Significant Investments in Interior Department  

Proposal would restore balance on public lands and waters, infuse critical resources in Indian Country, advance environmental justice, and build a clean energy future 

May 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden-Harris administration today submitted to Congress the President’s budget for fiscal year 2022. The Department of the Interior’s 2022 budget proposal totals $17.6 billion — an increase of $2.5 billion, or 17 percent, from the 2021 enacted level. This significant investment will help the Department address the climate crisis while creating good-paying union jobs and investing in healthy lands, waters, and economies in communities across the country.

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Buy-Back Program at the Spirit Lake Reservation – June 1 Deadline Approaching for Landowners 

Program encourages informed decision-making by landowners considering whether to accept a voluntary purchase offer
May 28, 2021

WASHINGTON – In March 2021, the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations mailed approximately $11 million in offers to purchase fractional interests from more than 3,500 landowners at the Spirit Lake Reservation in North Dakota.

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Morgan Rodman Named Executive Director of White House Council on Native American Affairs

May 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — Anthony (Morgan) Rodman has been named Executive Director of the White House Council on Native American Affairs (WHCNAA). He previously served as WHCNAA Executive Director during the Obama-Biden administration.

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SCHATZ CONVENES INDIAN AFFAIRS HEARING TO EXAMINE COVID-19 IMPACT ON NATIVE LANGUAGES

Committee Also Received Testimony on 2 Schatz-Led Bills to Support Native Languages

May 26, 2021

 

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led an oversight and legislative hearing on “Examining the COVID-19 Response in Native Communities: Native Languages One Year Later” and to receive testimony on S.989, the Native American Language Resource Center Act of 2021, and S.1402, the Durbin Feeling Native American Languages Act of 2021. The committee heard from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Acting Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans Michelle Sauve, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr., National Coalition of Native American Language Schools and Programs President Leslie Harper, ʻAha Pūnana Leo Chief Executive Officer Kaʻiulani Laehā, and Kawerak Eskimo Heritage Director and Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council Chair Bernadette “Yaayuk” Alvanna-Stimpfle.

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VICE CHAIRMAN MURKOWSKI EMPHASIZES IMPORTANCE OF THE TOURISM INDUSTRY TO ALASKA NATIVE COMMUNITIES 

Invited Alaskan witness, Mr. Russell Dick, President and CEO of the Huna Totem Corporation Testifies at Committee Oversight Hearing

May 14, 2021

 

WASHINGTON – This week, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, underscored the importance of tourism to Alaska Native communities and the entire Alaskan economy at a hearing, “Examining the COVID-19 Response in Native Communities: Native Tourism Economies One Year Later.”


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Interior Department Initiates Next Steps for Alaska Native Vietnam-era Veterans Land Allotment Program Selections

Agency Begins Tribal Consultation on Decisions to Open Additional Public Land to Selection

May 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior today announced next steps in the implementation of the Alaska Native Vietnam-era Veterans Land Allotment Program. While the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) reviews the previous Administration’s broad Public Lands Orders (PLOs), the bureau will expedite and process veterans’ allotment applications across the area addressed by those orders.

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Secretary Haaland Approves New Constitution for Cherokee Nation, Guaranteeing Full Citizenship Rights for Cherokee Freedmen

May 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland today approved a new Constitution for the Cherokee Nation that explicitly ensures the protection of the political rights and citizenship of all Cherokee citizens, including the Cherokee Freedmen. Cherokee law directs that changes to their Constitution be approved by the Department of the Interior.

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Indian Affairs Approves Colville Confederated Tribes’ Leasing Regs Under the HEARTH Act

Tribal nation joins growing list of those authorized to govern and manage leasing of their trust lands without prior Secretarial approval

May 6, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) announced today that it has approved business leasing regulations submitted by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, a federally recognized tribe in Washington state, under the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Home Ownership (HEARTH) Act of 2012.

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Indian Affairs Announces OIED’s NABDI 2021 Grant Application Solicitation Opportunity

May 6, 2021

WASHINGTON – Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Bryan Newland announced today that the IA Office of Indian Economic Development (formerly the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development) is soliciting applications for its Native American Business Development Institute grant program.  NABDI is looking to fund approximately 20 to 35 grants, ranging in value from approximately $25,000 to $75,000, to enable federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes to perform feasibility studies and/or design business plans of proposed economic development projects, businesses and technologies.

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Indian Affairs Begins Disbursement of $900 Million in American Rescue Plan Funding to Tribes Across Indian Country

Funds will aid tribal governments’ response to COVID-19’s damaging impact on their populations and economies

April 30, 2021

WASHINGTON – Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Bryan Newland announced today that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has begun disbursing $900 million to federally recognized tribes under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act. ARP was signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021, and the funds will aid tribes as they address the COVID-19 pandemic and its damaging impacts on Indian Country.

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Indian Affairs Begins Disbursement of $900 Million in American Rescue Plan Funding to Tribes Across Indian Country

April 30, 2021

Funds will aid tribal governments’ response to COVID-19’s damaging impact on their populations and economies

WASHINGTON – Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Bryan Newland announced today that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has begun disbursing $900 million to federally recognized tribes under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act.  ARP was signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021, and the funds will aid tribes as they address the COVID-19 pandemic and its damaging impacts on Indian Country.

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VICE CHAIRMAN MURKOWSKI EXAMINES NATIVE EDUCATION SYSTEMS DURING INDIAN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE HEARING

April 30, 2021

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, provided the following remarks during an oversight hearing on “Examining the COVID-19 Response in Native Communities: Native Education Systems One Year Later.”

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SCHATZ, MURKOWSKI INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN BILL TO SUPPORT NATIVE AMERICAN LANGUAGES

April 29, 2021

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), vice chairman of the Committee, introduced the Durbin Feeling Native American Languages Act of 2021. This bipartisan legislation marks the 30th anniversary of the Native American Languages Act by ensuring federal efforts meet the goal of respecting and supporting the use of Native languages.

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SCHATZ LEADS INDIAN AFFAIRS OVERSIGHT HEARING TO EXAMINE FEDERAL COVID-19 RESPONSE IN NATIVE EDUCATION SYSTEMS

April 28, 2021

 

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led an oversight hearing, “Examining the COVID-19 Response in Native Communities: Native Education Systems One Year Later.” The committee heard from the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO’s) Education-Workforce-Income Security Director Melissa Emrey-Arras, Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) Director Tony Dearman, Schurz Elementary School Principal and Pyramid Lake Junior/Senior High School Board of Education Vice President Lance West, Ke Kula ʻO Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu Principal Kauanoe Kamanā, and Belcourt School District Superintendent Michelle Thomas.

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Secretary Haaland Announces Funding for Six Tribal Youth Environmental and Economic Empowerment Projects

April 28, 2021

WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland today announced the approval of $927,000 for the Tribal Youth Coastal Restoration Program, which will fund projects estimated to restore up to 1,000 acres of wildlife habitat on Tribal lands along the Gulf Coast. The program will fund hands-on opportunities for Tribal youth, including environmental projects and career training, to enhance community resilience, protect natural resources and the environment, and teach cultural values.

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Interior Department Takes Steps to Restore Tribal Homelands, Empower Tribal Governments to Better Manage Indian Lands

April 27, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior today took several steps to honor our nation-to-nation relationship with Tribes and uphold our trust and treaty responsibilities to them. Today’s actions reverse a series of steps taken in the previous administration that undermined the ability of Tribes to establish and consolidate their homelands.

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Indian Affairs Announces Distribution Plan

for $850 Million Designated for BIE-funded Schools Under the American Rescue Plan Act

Funds will provide COVID-19 relief for education in BIE- and tribally operated K-12 schools and TCUs

April 23, 2021


WASHINGTON – Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Bryan Newland today announced the Bureau of Indian Education’s (BIE) plan for disbursing $850 million provided by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, signed on March 11, 2021, by President Biden. The funds, which BIE began disbursing this week, will be provided to BIE-funded K-12 schools and Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCUs).

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Secretary Haaland Continues Pursuit of Justice in Indian Country, Begins Implementation of ‘Not Invisible Act’

April 22, 2021

WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced today that she is moving forward to implement the Not Invisible Act, including establishing a Joint Commission led by the Departments of the Interior and Justice on reducing violent crime against American Indians and Alaska Natives.

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BIA Approves Cow Creek Band of Umpqua’s Leasing Regulations Under the HEARTH Act

Over 60 tribes now possess the ability to govern and manage leasing of their trust lands without prior BIA or Secretarial approval

April 20, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) announced today that it has approved leasing regulations submitted by the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, a federally recognized tribe in Oregon, under the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Home Ownership (HEARTH) Act of 2012.

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BIA Approves Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Business, Residential,Wind and Solar Leasing Regulations Under the HEARTH Act

April 19, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) announced today that it has approved leasing regulations submitted by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, a federally recognized tribe whose reservation is in North and South Dakota, under the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Home Ownership (HEARTH) Act of 2012.

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VICE CHAIRMAN MURKOWSKI HIGHLIGHTS ALASKA’S PROGRESS DURING HEARING ON CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE IN NATIVE COMMUNITIES

April 15, 2021

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, provided the following remarks during an oversight hearing on “Examining the COVID-19 Response in Native Communities: Native Health Systems One Year Later.”

 

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SCHATZ: RETURN OF WHITE HOUSE COUNCIL ON NATIVE AMERICAN AFFAIRS SIGNALS RENEWED COMMITTEMENT TO NATIVE COMMUNITIES

Haaland, Rice to Lead First WHCNAA Meeting of Biden-Harris Administration on April 23

April 15, 2021

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, released the following statement on today’s announcement that Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice will soon convene the first White House Council on Native American Affairs (WHCNAA) meeting of the Biden-Harris administration.

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Biden Administration Resumes White House Council on Native American Affairs 

Apirl 15, 2021

WASHINGTON – On April 23, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice will convene the first White House Council on Native American Affairs (WHCNAA) meeting of the Biden-Harris administration. Secretary Haaland will serve as the Council’s Chair.

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Buy-Back Program Sends Offers to Landowners with Fractional Interests at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation

Interested sellers have 60 days to respond to offers

April 15, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior announced today that the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations mailed approximately $30 million in purchase offers to more than 2,000 landowners with fractional interests at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North and South Dakota.  Landowners who received offers have until May 17, 2021 to consider and return accepted offers in the pre-paid postage envelopes provided.


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SCHATZ LEADS INDIAN AFFAIRS OVERSIGHT HEARING TO EXAMINE COVID-19 RESPONSE IN NATIVE COMMUNITIES

April 14, 2021

 

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led an oversight hearing, “Examining the COVID-19 Response in Native Communities: Native Health Systems One Year Later.” The committee heard from the Indian Health Service’s Chief Medical Officer Michael Toedt, National Indian Health Board Chairperson William Smith, National Council of Urban Indian Health Board President Walter Murillo, Papa Ola Lōkahi Executive Director Sheri-Ann Daniels, and Alaska Native Medical Center Administrator Robert Onders.

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Secretary Haaland to Head U.S. DelegationDeliver Keynote Address to the 20th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

April 14, 2021

WASHINGTON – On Monday, April 19, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland will deliver a keynote address at the 20th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Secretary Haaland and Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield will serve as Heads of Delegation.

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Statement on Office of Hearings and Appeals Data Breach

April 9, 2021

WASHINGTON  The Department of the Interior released the following statement today regarding a data breach within the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA)

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Indian Affairs Announces Approval of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians’ Business Regulations Under the HEARTH Act

HEARTH Act underscores importance of tribal self-determination and sovereignty

April 9, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) announced today that it has approved a business site leasing ordinance submitted by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, a federally recognized tribe in Michigan, under the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Home Ownership (HEARTH) Act of 2012.  The Band is now authorized to enter into business leases on its trust lands without further approval by the BIA.

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Secretary Haaland Creates New Missing & Murdered Unit to Pursue Justice for Missing or Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives

New unit will coordinate interagency collaboration and strengthen existing law enforcement resources 

April 1, 2021

WASHINGTON – Today Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced the formation of a new Missing & Murdered Unit (MMU) within the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services (BIA-OJS) to provide leadership and direction for cross-departmental and interagency work involving missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives. The MMU will help put the full weight of the federal government into investigating these cases and marshal law enforcement resources across federal agencies and throughout Indian country. 

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VICE CHAIRMAN MURKOWSKI: INDIAN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE HOLDS HEARING ON WATER INFRASTRUCTURE

Interim President of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Valerie Davidson, Testifies

March 24, 2021

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, provided the following remarks during today’s oversight hearing on “Building Back Better: Water Infrastructure Needs for Native Communities.”

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MURKOWSKI, SCHATZ LEGISLATION RECOGNIZING NATIVE WOMEN ACHIEVEMENTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS PASSES SENATE

Bipartisan Resolution Honors Native Women During Month of National Women’s History Month

March 24, 2021

 

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution led by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, honoring the achievements of Native women throughout American history and present day.

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SCHATZ LEADS INDIAN AFFAIRS OVERSIGHT HEARING ON WATER INFRASTRUCTURE

 March 24, 2021

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led an oversight hearing, “Build Back Better: Water Infrastructure Needs for Native Communities.” The committee heard from Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Chairman Raymond Tsumpti, Colorado River Indian Tribes Chairwoman Amelia Flores, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Interim President Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson, and Navajo Department of Water Resources Director Jason John.

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Interior’s Principal Deputy Solicitor issued a withdrawal of the previous administration’s M-37056 Opinion.

March 22, 2021


On March 19, 2021, Interior’s Principal Deputy Solicitor issued a withdrawal of the previous administration’s M-37056 Opinion. That Opinion concluded that the site at which the riverbed of the Missouri River flows through the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota belongs to the State of North Dakota, rather than the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation (the Tribe refers to itself as the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation).


Below is a quote attributable to an Interior spokesperson:

“The previous administration’s M-Opinion overturned decades of existing precedent holding that the Missouri riverbed belonged to the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara (MHA) Nation. Today’s action will allow us to review the matter and ensure the Interior Department is upholding its trust and treaty obligations in accordance with the law.”


On background:

· On May 26, 2020, former Solicitor Jorjani issued the M-37056 opinion, which superseded and reversed the legal conclusions made in former Solicitor Tompkins’ January 18, 2017 opinion (M-37044), which found the riverbed belonged to the Tribe.

· The Jorjani Opinion has been challenged in the District Court for the District of Columbia by the Tribe and the State of North Dakota has intervened. The Department has been granted a stay in this litigation to allow for review of the Jorjani Opinion.



ICYMI: NEW YORK TIMES HIGHLIGHTS AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN’S HISTORIC FUNDING FOR NATIVE COMMUNITIES

March 19, 2021

 

WASHINGTON – The New York Times published an article highlighting the more than $31 billion in federal funding for Tribes and Native communities in the American Rescue Plan Act – the biggest one-time investment in Native programs in history. This new funding will empower American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians to tackle COVID-19’s impacts on their communities.

 

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs’ comprehensive resource guide and FAQs provide more information on the resources available to Tribes and Native communities through the American Rescue Plan.

 

Click for more info. 

Congratulations to Deb Haaland 
on Becoming the 54th Interior Secretary
Photo Credit: Tami Heilemann from Interior. 

SCHATZ COMMENDS CONFIRMATION OF DEB HAALAND AS SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR

Haaland is the First Native American Cabinet Secretary in U.S. History

March 15, 2021

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, released the following statement on Congresswoman Deb Haaland’s confirmation as the country’s first Native American Cabinet Secretary to lead the Department of the Interior.

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SCHATZ RELEASES COVID-19 RELIEF GUIDE, FAQS TO HELP NATIVE COMMUNITIES ACCESS FEDERAL RESOURCES 

At Least $31.2 Billion, Biggest One-Time Investment in U.S. History, Heading to Native Communities in American Rescue Plan

Resource GuideFAQs on Historic $31.2 Billion for Native Communities

March 15, 2021

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, released a comprehensive guide and a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document to help Native communities navigate COVID-19 relief resources authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act.

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American Rescue Plan Provides Critical Support for Indian Affairs Programs 

Relief package will benefit tribal government pandemic initiatives

March 15, 2021


WASHINGTON – The American Rescue Plan (ARP) signed by President Biden on March 12, 2021, invests $1.75 billion in American Indian and Alaska Native government programs administered under the oversight of the Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs.

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BIA Announces Public Comment Opportunity on Environmental Impacts of Moapa Band’s Proposed Southern Bighorn Solar Project
March 11, 2021

WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians in Nevada today announced the opportunity to comment on potential environmental impacts of the proposed Southern Bighorn Solar Project (SBSP).  The Project includes two solar energy ground leases providing for the construction, operation and maintenance, and eventual decommissioning of two solar electricity generation and battery energy storage facilities.

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Interior to Hold Tribal Consultation Session with Alaska,Northwest, and Pacific Tribes

March 12 consultation will seek to strengthen the U.S.-Tribal Nation-to-Nation Relationship in accordance with Biden January 26 Presidential Memorandum

March 11, 2021


WASHINGTON – On Friday, March 12, 2021, the Department of the Interior will hold via teleconference the fourth and last in its series of tribal consultation sessions this month, this time with leaders from federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribal nations in the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) Alaska, Northwest, and Pacific Regions. The sessions honor and seek to strengthen the United States’ nation-to-nation relationship with the tribes by hearing from their leaders suggestions for federal policy and departmental actions, including identifying additional best practices, to improve consultation and fortify Interior’s relationship with tribal governments.


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SCHATZ LEADS INDAN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE ROUNDTABLE, UNDERSCORES NATIVE COMMUNITIES’ RESPONSES TO CLIMATE CRISIS

March 10, 2021

 

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led a roundtable discussion, “Native Communities and the Climate Crisis,” to hear from Native leaders and experts from around the country on how climate change is impacting their communities, and how Congress can be partner in mitigating these impacts and developing solutions and climate resiliency.

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Interior to Hold Tribal Consultation Sessions with Eastern, Eastern Oklahoma, Navajo, Southern Plains, Southwest, and Western Tribes

March 10 consultations will seek to strengthen the U.S.-Tribal Nation-to-Nation Relationship in accordance with Biden January 26 Presidential Memorandum

March 9, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior will hold via teleconference two of four tribal consultation sessions with leaders from federally recognized American Indian tribal nations in the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) Eastern, Eastern Oklahoma, Navajo, Southern Plains, Southwest, and Western Regions on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. The sessions honor and seek to strengthen the United States’ nation-to-nation relationship with the tribes by hearing from their leaders suggestions for federal policy and departmental actions, including identifying additional best practices, to improve consultation and fortify Interior’s relationship with tribal governments.

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SENATE PASSES LARGEST INVESTMENT IN NATIVE PROGRAMS IN HISTORY, MORE THAN $31 BILLION HEADING TO NATIVE COMMUNITIES

March 6, 2021

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, helped secure more than $31.2 billion in dedicated funding for Tribal governments and Native communities, comprising the largest investment in history for Native programs. The new funding will deliver immediate relief for hard-hit Native American families and support Tribal Nations as they build a bridge toward economic recovery.

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Interior Department Takes Steps to Strengthen Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking

Revokes Secretarial Order that improperly restricted agency’s use of science and data

March 3, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Interior Department today took steps to recommit to scientific integrity and empower the agency’s scientific and technical experts to use the best available science. Signed on Interior’s 172nd birthday and the 142nd birthday for the U.S. Geological Survey, Secretarial Order 3397 revokes Secretarial Order 3369 – falsely branded the “open science” rule – that imposed improper restrictions on what science and data could be considered in the Department’s policymaking.

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VICE CHAIRMAN MURKOWSKI: COMMITTEE RECEIVES TESTIMONY ON NATIVE PRIORITIES FOR THE 117TH CONGRESS

February 24, 2021


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today, with Committee Chairman, Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) convened the Committee’s first hearing for the 117th Congress. The hearing was “A call to action: Native communities’ priorities in focus for the 117th Congress” and included four native witnesses.

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SCHATZ LEADS FIRST INDIAN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE HEARING OF 117th CONGRESS

Oversight Hearing Elevated Native Communities’ Priorities

February 24, 2021

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led an oversight hearing entitled “A call to action: Native communities’ priorities in focus for the 117th Congress.” The committee heard from the National Congress of American Indians President Fawn Sharp, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians President Leonard Forsman, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey, and Alaska Federation of Natives President and CEO Julie Kitka.

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Interior Announces Series of Tribal Consultations in Recognition of the Importance of Nation-to-Nation Relationship
February 11, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior announced today that it will host initial consultations with Tribal leaders next month. In addition to honoring and strengthening the nation-to-nation relationship, these steps will help ensure that future White House and Interior efforts at addressing the four converging crises of our time – COVID-19, economic security, racial justice and climate change – are inclusive of Tribal Nations’ priorities and recommendations.


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SCHATZ, MURKOWSKI ELECTED CHAIRMAN, VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS

February 11, 2021

 

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) were both unanimously elected as Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively, of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs for the 117th Congress.

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SCHATZ, MURKOWSKI ELECTED CHAIRMAN, VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS
 
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) were both unanimously elected as Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively, of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs for the 117th Congress.

Interior Announces Plans to Strengthen LWCF
New Order Revokes Policy Actions That Undermined Bipartisan Conservation Program

February 11, 2021


WASHINGTON — The Interior Department today took steps to strengthen the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) by rescinding Trump administration policies that significantly undermined the landmark conservation program. Secretarial Order 3396revokes an order signed on November 9, 2020 (Secretarial Order 3388) that unilaterally imposed new restrictions to inhibit the availability of LWCF funding for federal land and water acquisitions.


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Celebrating America hosted by Tom Hanks 
Biden-Harris Inauguration 2021
Stream provided by Biden Inaugural Committee
The Inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris 
 Jan. 20th, 2021
Stream provided by Biden Inaugural Committee
Nationwide COVID-19 Memorial | Biden-Harris Inauguration 2021
Stream provided by Biden Inaugural Committee
United We Serve: A Celebration of the National MLK Day of Service | Biden-Harris Inauguration 2021
Stream provided by Biden Inaugural Committee
America United: An Inauguration Welcome Event Celebrating America’s Changemakers

Stream provided by Biden Inaugural Committee

DOI and Indian Affairs Announce National Tribal Broadband Strategy to Close Connectivity Gap in Indian Country and Alaska

January 15, 2021

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Interior’s (DOI) Indian Affairs released the National Tribal Broadband Strategy (NTBS), a work product of the American Broadband Initiative. Designed as a roadmap for the Federal Government and the private sector, the NTBS highlights the strategic components to broadband deployment and expansion, and the necessary actions needed to spur investment within American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. The Strategy was developed in collaboration with the White House Council on Native American Affairs (WHCNAA).


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Secretary Bernhardt Signs Historic Secretarial Order to Transition the National Bison Range Into Tribal Trust for the Flathead Indian Reservation
January 15, 2021

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary David L. Bernhardt signed Secretary’s Order 3390 and directed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to facilitate the transition of property related to the National Bison Range (NBR) to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).  The BIA will formally take the land into trust for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) of Montana and restore the land to the Flathead Indian Reservation.

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Assistant Secretary Sweeney Announces Appointments of Charles Addington as Senior Advisor for Law Enforcement, Security and School Safety, Jason O’Neal as OJS Deputy Bureau Director

January 15, 2021

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney today announced the appointment of Charles Addington as the Senior Advisor – Law Enforcement, Security and School Safety in the Office of the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs and the appointment of Jason O’Neal as the Deputy Bureau Director for the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Justice Services (BIA-OJS).  The appointments become effective January 17, 2021.

Indian Affairs Invests Over $760,000 to Help Tribes Start New Businesses and Commercial Projects in Opportunity Zones

January 14, 2021


WASHINGTON –  Assistant Secretary -- Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Sweeney announced today that Indian Affairs’ Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) has approved $762,346 in Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) grants to fund 14 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and tribal entities to perform feasibility studies of proposed economic development projects, businesses, and technologies located in designated Opportunity Zones.

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Operation Lady Justice Task Force Opens Cold Case Office in Nashville, Tennessee

Office is last of seven established starting in July 2020

January 13, 2021

WASHINGTON – In a virtual ceremony today with tribal leaders, Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Mac Lean Sweeney announced the opening of the Operation Lady Justice Task Force’s cold case office in Nashville, TN.  The Nashville office follows six that were opened in 2020: Bloomington, MN, on July 27; Rapid City, SD, on August 4; Billings, MT, on August 6; Albuquerque, NM, on August 11; Phoenix, AZ, on August 13; and Anchorage, AK, on August 26.

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Assistant Secretary Sweeney Announces BIA Proposal to Streamline Its Indian Probate Processes

January 8, 2021

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Sweeney today announced proposed changes to regulations put in place in 2008 that govern the probating of trust and restricted property belonging to individual American Indians and Alaska Natives.  The proposed changes would streamline Department of the Interior’s current process.  

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Assistant Secretary Sweeney Signs Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians’ Indian Trust Asset Management Plan and Forestry Regulations

Approval is second under DOI’s Indian Trust Asset Management Demonstration Project

January 4, 2021

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Sweeney announced today that she approved the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians’ Indian Trust Asset Management Plan (ITAMP) and forestry regulations on December 8, 2020.  The approval is the Interior Department’s second Indian Trust Asset Management Demonstration Project. 


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Sweeney Approves Kiowa Tribe’s Land-into-Trust for Gaming Application for Site in Hobart, Oklahoma

Action restores former lands to the Tribe with projected jobs and revenue benefitting it as well as local and regional economies

December 18, 2020

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Mac Lean Sweeney today announced she has approved the Kiowa Indian Tribe’s land-into-trust application for an approximately 11.33-acre parcel in the city of Hobart, Oklahoma, for gaming and other purposes.  The gaming facility will include a restaurant, office space, back-of-house operations, and a parking lot to accommodate patrons and employees.  The proposed project is expected to directly employ 156 people.  The site is located within the Tribe’s former reservation in Kiowa County.  The Tribe is seeking to restore part of its land base in its historical reservation and support its long-term goals of economic self-sufficiency, self-governance, and self-determination.

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CHAIRMAN HOEVEN: CONGRESS APPROVES HOEVEN LEGISLATION TO INCREASE ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES IN INDIAN COUNTRY

The ICEE Act of 2020 will be sent to the President to be signed into law

December 18, 2020

 

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today released the following statement, after he secured passage of S. 212, the Indian Community Economic Enhancement Act of 2020 (ICEE Act of 2020). Hoeven introduced the legislation to promote economic development and job creation in Indian country. The ICEE Act will now be sent to the President to be signed into law.

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The Native American Agriculture Fund Distributes $1 Million Dollars to 25 Organizations Serving Native Youth

December 14, 2020

Fayetteville, Arkansas- The Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Secretary Tom Vilsack in his nomination to serve in the Biden-Harris administration as our next Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture.


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Trump Administration Invests $1.55 Million to Help Tribes Manage their Energy Resources

December 4, 2020

WASHINGTON –  Assistant Secretary -- Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Sweeney announced today that the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) has approved $1.55 million in Tribal Energy Development Capacity (TEDC) grants to equip federally recognized American Indian tribes, federally recognized Alaska Native entities, and tribal energy resource development organizations with the managerial and institutional capacity to develop energy resources and account for the resulting energy production and revenues.

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Trump Administration Disburses More than $8 Billion from 2020 Energy Production

30% increase in comparison to 2016 

December 4, 2020

WASHINGTON U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt announced today that Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) disbursed $8.08 billion in Fiscal Year 2020 from energy production on offshore areas and federal and American Indian lands. Despite this year’s pandemic, this still represents an increase of approximately 30% compared to 2016 disbursements made at the end of the previous Administration.

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COMMITTEE ADVANCES FOUR INDIAN BILLS DURING BUSINESS MEETING

November 18, 2020

 

WASHINGTON – The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, chaired by Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), passed the following four bills at its business meeting:

 

  • S. 790A bill to clarify certain provisions of Public Law 103-116, the Catawba Indian Tribe of South Carolina Land Claims Settlement Act of 1993, and for other purposes;

 

  • S. 3264Bridging the Tribal Digital Divide Act of 2020;

 

  • S. 4079A bill to authorize the Seminole Tribe of Florida to lease or transfer certain land, and for other purposes; and

 

  • S. 4556A bill to authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Director of the Indian Health Service, to acquire private land to facilitate access to the Desert Sage Youth Wellness Center in Hemet, California, and for other purposes.

 

Trump Administration Reduces Wildfire Risk Across Record 5.4 Million Acres

5.4 million acres treated since 2017, a 49% increase compared to the prior four years 

November 18, 2020

WASHINGTON —  U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt announced today that the Department of the Interior reduced wildfire risk across 1.5 million acres of Interior-managed lands in FY 2020, bringing its total to 5.4 million acres since 2017. This is the most acreage treated during a Presidential term since Interior started tracking the data in 2003 and an increase of 49% compared to the last four years of the previous administration.


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HOEVEN ACCEPTS AWARD AT THE NATIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN LANGUAGES SUMMIT

November 17, 2020

 

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today provided remarks at the National Native American Languages Summit and received a Native American Languages Legacy Award for Organizational Leadership from the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

 

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Scott County Historical Society donates Dakota rifle to

Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

November 16, 2020

Prior Lake, Minn. – The Scott County Historical Society and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) announced today that the society has donated a rifle to the tribe that was once owned by Mdewakanton Dakota leader Sakpe II. Originally on loan from the organization, this historic artifact is now part of the permanent collection and on public exhibit at Hoċokata Ti (ho-cho-kah-tah-tee), the tribe’s cultural center.


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Trump Administration’s Unprecedented Conservation Achievements Help Tame Invasive Mussels in Western Waters  

November 10, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. —?The Trump Administration continues to fulfill its commitments to Western states and tribes by investing significant funding to help prevent, contain and control invasive mussels that, if left unchecked, can damage water and power supplies, diminish recreational boating and fishing opportunities and devastate the economic and ecological health of Western waters 


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Trump Administration Grants Gold Star Families and Military Veterans Free Entrance to National Parks, Refuges and Other Public Lands Starting Veterans Day

November 10, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. —?On behalf of the Trump Administration and in support of America’s military members and families, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt signed Secretary’s Order 3387 at the Iowa Gold Star Museum in October, announcing that Gold Star Families and U.S. military veterans will be granted free access to national parks, national wildlife refuges and other federal lands managed by the Department of the Interior?starting on Veterans Day (Nov. 11) this year and every day onward. 

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NCAI Congratulates President-Elect Biden and
Vice President-Elect Harris on Their Historic Victory

November 7, 2020
Washington, DC | The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) congratulates President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris on their historic victory in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, which saw record voter turnout across the country and pivotal turnout from Native voters in the decisive states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Arizona, among others. NCAI looks forward to working closely with the Biden-Harris transition team in the coming weeks to ensure that Indian Country’s key priorities are addressed, and with the Biden-Harris Administration over the next four years to strengthen the government-to-government relationship and the federal government’s fulfillment of its trust and treaty obligations to tribal nations.


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Sweeney Announces San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Mission Indians HEARTH Act Regulations Are 60th To Be Approved
Application is fifth processed under the new policy to streamline approvals

November 5, 2020

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Sweeney today announced she has approved leasing regulations for the San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Mission Indians in California. This is the 60th set of tribal leasing regulations approved under the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Home Ownership (HEARTH) Act since its passage in 2012 and the fifth under Indian Affairs’ new policy expediting the processing of HEARTH applications.


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Joint Statement from the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Department of State on Continued Efforts to Repatriate Cultural Items to Native American Communities


October 30, 2020

In September, President Trump announced the successful repatriation of ancestral remains and funerary items from Tribes associated with the Mesa Verde region from Finland.  Following that effort, the White House has asked the U.S. Departments of the Interior and State to work together to assist other Native American tribes in the repatriation of any additional cultural items abroad.  

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Trump Administration Grants Gold Star Families and Military Veterans Free Entrance to National Parks, Refuges and Other Public Lands

October 28, 2020

DES MOINES, Iowa —? Today, on behalf of the Trump Administration and in support of America’s military members and families, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt announced at the Iowa Gold Star Museum that Gold Star Families and U.S. military veterans will be granted free access to national parks, wildlife refuges and other Federal lands managed by the Department of the Interior starting on Veterans Day (Nov. 11) this year and every day onward.

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Trump Administration Provides 5th Grade Students with Free Entrance to National Parks, Refuges and Other Public Lands

October 28, 2020

DES MOINES, Iowa —? While at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt signed a Secretary’s Order that waives entrance fees to national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands and waters managed by the Department of the Interior for 5th grade students and their families from now until Aug. 31, 2021. 


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HOEVEN & UDALL: PRESIDENT TRUMP SIGNS THE PROGRESS FOR INDIAN TRIBES ACT OF 2019 INTO LAW 

Bipartisan Legislation Strengthens Tribal Self-Governance

October 22, 2020

 

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today issued the following statement after President Trump signed S. 209, the Practical Reforms and Other Goals To Reinforce the Effectiveness of Self-Governance and Self-Determination (PROGRESS) for Indian Tribes Act of 2019, into law.

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Trump Administration Invests $3 Million to Preserve Native American Languages

October 21, 2020


WASHINGTON –  Assistant Secretary -- Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Sweeney announced today that the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) has approved $3 million in Living Languages Grant Program (LLGP) funds to 18 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and villages to document, preserve, and revitalize Native languages. 


HOEVEN STATEMENT ON RELEASE OF TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S PUTTING AMERICA’S FIRST PEOPLES FIRST PLAN

October 20, 2020

 

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA), today issued the following statement after the release of the Trump Administration’s Putting America’s First Peoples First Plan. The plan outlines the Administration’s priorities to strengthen and preserve tribal nations, provide greater sovereignty, more economic opportunity and a higher quality of life.

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Assistant Secretary Sweeney Signs Coquille’s Indian Trust Asset Management Plan and Tribal Forestry Regulations  

Approval is first under Interior’s Indian Trust Asset Management Demonstration Project

October 20, 2020

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Sweeney approved the Coquille Indian Tribe’s Indian Trust Asset Management Plan (ITAMP) and tribal forestry regulations in a virtual signing ceremony held with Coquille Chief Don Ivy on October 16, 2020.  The approval is the Department’s first Indian Trust Asset Management Demonstration Project. 

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HOEVEN MARKS OPENING OF U.S. INDIAN LAW ENFORCEMENT ADVANCED TRAINING CENTER AT CAMP GRAFTON

Senator Joined by Governor Burgum, Adjutant General Dohrmann, U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley, Interior Officials & Tribal Leaders


October 9, 2020

 

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today led federal, state and tribal officials in marking the opening of the U.S. Indian Law Enforcement Advanced Training Center and Proclamation signing ceremony at Camp Grafton, North Dakota. Through his role on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Hoeven secured $2.5 million in Fiscal Year 2020 for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) law enforcement to conduct the specialized training courses at Camp Grafton.

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Tribes Begin Five-Year Swift Fox Reintroduction at Fort Belknap 

Release Program Developed With Conservation Partners 

September 24, 2020

After an absence of more than 50 years, the swift fox has returned to the grasslands of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Montana. From Sept. 12 to 20, the Assiniboine (Nakoda) and Gros Ventre (Aaniiih) Tribes of Fort Belknap released 27 swift foxes in collaboration with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Defenders of Wildlife and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), kickstarting a five-year swift fox reintroduction program,


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HOEVEN CONVENES LEGISLATIVE HEARING TO RECEIVE TESTIMONY ON FIVE INDIAN BILLS

September 23, 2020

 

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today convened a legislative hearing to receive testimony on five bills:


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HOEVEN STATEMENT AFTER HOUSE PASSES FIVE INDIAN BILLS, SENDING THEM TO THE PRESIDENT


September 22, 2020

 

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA), today released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed five Senate bills that were previously considered favorably by the SCIA. All five pieces of legislation have now been approved by both the Senate and House, and will now go to the President to be signed into law.


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CHAIRMAN HOEVEN AND VICE CHAIRMAN UDALL STATEMENT ON HOUSE PASSAGE OF TRIBAL SELF-GOVERNANCE SENATE BILL


September 21, 2020

 

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, welcomed the House of Representatives’ passage of S. 209, the Practical Reforms and Other Goals To Reinforce the Effectiveness of Self-Governance and Self-Determination (PROGRESS) for Indian Tribes Act of 2019.


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CHAIRMAN HOEVEN AND VICE CHAIRMAN UDALL STATEMENT ON HOUSE PASSAGE OF TRIBAL SELF-GOVERNANCE SENATE BILL

 

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, welcomed the House of Representatives’ passage of S. 209, the Practical Reforms and Other Goals To Reinforce the Effectiveness of Self-Governance and Self-Determination (PROGRESS) for Indian Tribes Act of 2019.

HOEVEN: HOUSE PASSES SAVANNA’S ACT, BILL GOES TO PRESIDENT TO BE SIGNED INTO LAW

Senator Cosponsored Legislation to Address Cases of Missing and Murdered Native Americans, Helped Secure Passage in the Senate


September 21, 2020 


WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed Savanna’s Act, legislation he cosponsored that requires reporting on missing and murdered Native Americans. The bill, which is named for Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind from North Dakota who was tragically murdered in 2017, also directs the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to consult with Indian Tribes while developing national law enforcement guidelines.


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Assistant Secretary Tara Sweeney Announces $5.5 Million Available for IEED Energy Mineral Development Program Grants

September 21, 2020

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Sweeney announced today that approximately $5.5 million is available for Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) Energy Mineral Development Program (EMDP) grants to help federally recognized American Indian tribes, Alaska Native entities and tribal energy resource development organizations identify, evaluate or assess the market for energy or mineral resources to be developed.  EMDP will fund about 25 to 30 grants.  The application deadline is December 2, 2020. 

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In Case You Missed It: Finding Solutions to Bring Connectivity to Alaska, Indian Country

September 21, 2020

Originally Published by: The Cherokee Phoenix 

By: Tara Katuk Sweeney, U.S. Interior Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs 

As an Inupiaq, I grew up north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska, home to some of the most remote communities in the United States. Arctic living requires resourcefulness, respect for nature, and, most importantly, strong connections to community members. You can’t make it on your own, and like all tribal communities, social connectivity and kinship are critical to survival.

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Assistant Secretary Sweeney Announces Implementation of Distance Learning for BIE-operated Schools on the Navajo Nation 

Bureau of Indian Education to implement nine weeks of distance learning for continuity of education

September 17, 2020

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs (AS-IA) Tara Katuk Sweeney recently announced that the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools operating on the Navajo Nation will open for students via distance learning for the first nine weeks of the 2020-21 school year.  The BIE operates 32 schools within the Navajo Nation and has worked closely with tribal leaders to find the best way to implement the Return To Learn! plan.  Under the plan, BIE schools have the flexibility to implement how it works for their specific needs and community conditions. 


Trump Administration Finalizes the Return of American Indian Ancestral Remains and Funerary Objects from Finland

September 17, 2020

WASHINGTON – Last year, President Trump and President Niinistӧ of Finland finalized an agreement to return American Indian ancestral remains and funerary objects taken over a century ago from what is now Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt, Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Sweeney and other officials joined President Trump in the Oval Office to recognize the cultural and ancestral importance of these items being returned safely to the Mesa Verde region. 

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Rare Opportunity to Pass Significant Self-Governance Reform Legislation this Year

September 16, 2020

 

This year has been difficult in getting Indian legislation through the Congress. First gridlock in the Senate, and then the COVID-19 pandemic have caused delays, resulting in an abbreviated legislative schedule.


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National Congress of American Indian's Tribal Unity Impact Days

September 16, 2020

This year, National Congress of American Indians’s Tribal Unity Impact Days will be going virtual. The event will feature two days of roundtable conversations with members of Congress, providing tribal leaders important opportunities to engage with legislators about the most pressing issues facing Indian Country before the end of the current session of Congress.

Trump Administration Opens Operation Lady Justice

Task Force Cold Case Office in Anchorage, Alaska

New office joins those already opened in Minnesota, South Dakota,

Montana, New Mexico and Arizona since July 27

August 26, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Sweeney was in Anchorage, Alaska, to open the sixth office to investigate cold cases involving missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives.  She was also joined by Commissioner Jean Hovland with the Administration for Native Americans and Bureau of Indian Affairs-Office of Justice Services Director Charles Addington.  This is an initiative of Operation Lady Justice, the task force established to address missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives.  The first cold case office was opened on July 27, 2020, in Bloomington, MN. 

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Trump Administration Seized More Than 2,600 Pounds of Illegal Narcotics in Indian Country Last Year
Estimated Value of $19.6 million, more than double that of 2018
WASHINGTON – Today, the Trump Administration highlighted the efforts made in 2019 by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Joint Opioid Reduction Task Force in Indian Country, as law enforcement officials successfully led 14 operations across seven states, resulting in more than 313 arrests and the seizure of 2,607 pounds of illegal narcotics with an estimated street value of $19.6 million, more than double the price tag from the previous year. President Donald J. Trump has made it a priority of his administration to end the drug overdose epidemic that kills approximately 70,000 Americans each year.

Trump Administration Seized More Than 2,600 Pounds of Illegal Narcotics in Indian Country Last Year

Estimated Value of $19.6 million, more than double that of 2018

August 24, 2020

WASHINGTON – Today, the Trump Administration highlighted the efforts made in 2019 by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Joint Opioid Reduction Task Force in Indian Country, as law enforcement officials successfully led 14 operations across seven states, resulting in more than 313 arrests and the seizure of 2,607 pounds of illegal narcotics with an estimated street value of $19.6 million, more than double the price tag from the previous year. President Donald J. Trump has made it a priority of his administration to end the drug overdose epidemic that kills approximately 70,000 Americans each year.

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Operation Lady Justice Task Force’s Fifth Cold Case Office Opens at the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona

Phoenix location added to those in Bloomington, Rapid City, Billings and Albuquerque; first to be housed in a tribal police department


August 14, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Sweeney announced today that the fifth of seven offices being established under the Operation Lady Justice Task Force to investigate cold cases involving missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives will be located at the Gila River Indian Community Police Department in Sacaton, AZ.  The Task Force’s first tribally housed cold case office opened August 13. 

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Trump Administration Invests $1.2 Million in Tribal Broadband Grants
August 13, 2020

WASHINGTON – The Trump Administration announced today that the U.S. Department of Interior’s Indian Affairs Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) has approved National Tribal Broadband Grant (NTBG) program grants to 23 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and two Navajo Nation communities to study the feasibility of developing or extending broadband services in their areas. 

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Fourth Operation Lady Justice Task Force Cold Case Office Opens in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Joins Bloomington, Rapid City and Billings openings

August 11, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Sweeney announced today the opening of the fourth of seven offices established under the Operation Lady Justice Task Force to investigate cold cases involving missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives. 

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Secretary Bernhardt Takes Action to Implement the Greatest Conservation Funding Law in US History

Nearly $20 billion to be invested over the next 10 years 

August 11, 2020

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt established the Great American Outdoors Act Coordination and Implementation Task Force to implement the Department of the Interior’s portion of the Great American Outdoors Act, which was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump last week. The law will help address the historically underfunded, multi-billion-dollar deferred maintenance backlog at our national parks and public lands in addition to funding new public access projects across the country. $9.5 billion over the next five years will be dedicated to tackling deferred maintenance needs, and $900 million per year into perpetuity will be invested from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for new conservation and recreation opportunities. 


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Operation Lady Justice Task Force Opens Second Cold Case Office in Rapid City, South Dakota

Second of seven locations follows first opening in Bloomington, Minnesota on July 27

August 4, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, officials from the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Health and Human Services announced the opening of the second of seven cold case offices established through an initiative of Operation Lady Justice to investigate cold cases involving missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives.

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HOEVEN HOLDS OVERSIGHT HEARING ON SAFELY REOPENING BIE SCHOOLS

July 29, 2020

 

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today held an oversight hearing on “Preparing to Head Back to Class: Addressing How to Safely Reopen Bureau of Indian Education Schools.”

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COMMITTEE ADVANCES ELEVEN INDIAN BILLS DURING BUSINESS MEETING

July 29, 2020

 

WASHINGTON – The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, chaired by Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), today passed the following eleven bills at its business meeting:

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Trump Administration Establishes the First Cold Case Task Force Office for Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives

Seven Offices Being Established Across the Country to Handle Cold Cases in Indian Country

July 27, 2020

BLOOMINGTON, MINN. – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt, Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Sweeney established the first of seven offices dedicated to solving cold cases involving missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives.

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Assistant Secretary Sweeney Announces New Policy to Ensure Expeditious Processing of Tribal HEARTH Applications

Policy also institutionalizes role of Hearth Act Coordinator to ensure accountability for meeting timelines

July 23, 2020


WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney announced today a new internal policy governing how the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) processes tribal applications under the “Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act of 2012” (HEARTH Act).

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HOEVEN STATEMENT ON USDA ANNOUNCEMENT ON FOOD DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM ON INDIAN RESERVATIONS

July 20, 2020

 

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and the Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, as well as a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, provided the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced implementation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act’s provisions related to USDA’s Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).


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Spring 2021 White House Internship Program

July 17, 2020

  

The Spring 2021 White House Internship Program application is now open.

Assistant Secretary Sweeney Announces Approval of The Osage Nation’s Land-into-Trust Applications for Bartlesville and Pawhuska Casinos

Action on long-standing requests restores tribal lands, removes barrier to Nation’s gaming and other economic development projects

July 17, 2020

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney announced today that she has approved two long-standing land-into-trust applications from The Osage Nation in Oklahoma for its casino projects in the cities of Bartlesville and Pawhuska.  The applications were first submitted to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in 2014 and 2016, respectively.


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Assistant Secretary Sweeney Announces Approval of the Fort Belknap Indian Community’s HEARTH Act Regulations

Action eliminates a barrier to tribe’s ability to address its housing needs and increase its economic self-sufficiency

June 29, 2020


WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Mac Lean Sweeney today announced she has approved the Fort Belknap Indian Community of the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana’s regulations under the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act.  The Act establishes the authority of federally recognized tribes to develop and implement their own laws governing the long-term leasing of Indian lands for residential, business, renewable energy, and other purposes.


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CHAIRMAN HOEVEN AND VICE CHAIRMAN UDALL INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN NATIVE AMERICAN HOUSING LEGISLATION

June 25, 2020

 

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and Tom Udall (D-NM), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA) and provide needed housing improvements for native communities.


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DOI Signs Agreement with USDA to Increase Investment in Infrastructure on Federal and Tribal Lands
June 25, 2020

WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of the Interior (DOI) forged a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) by signing the National Programmatic Agreement among the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Programs, National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation for Sequencing Section 106 (USDA-RD NPA).


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Assistant Secretary Sweeney Announces NABDI Grant Program Funding Opportunity

June 24, 2020

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Mac Lean Sweeney announced

today that the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) is soliciting

applications for its Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) grant program.


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Trump Administration Supports Alaska Native Vietnam Veterans

June 24, 2020

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are seeking public comments to inform the land allotment program for Alaska Native Vietnam-era veterans. The provision was enacted as a part of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, which was signed by President Trump, and the provision spearheaded by Senator Dan Sullivan, and would allow thousands of Alaska Natives who served our country during the Vietnam-era to receive up to 160 acres promised to them in previous Native allotment statutes. These veterans unfairly missed their opportunity to apply under previous laws because of their military service to our country.

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National Park Visitor Spending Generates Economic Impact of More Than $41 Billion

June11, 2020

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt today announced the annual economic benefit of national parks to the U.S. and local economies. In 2019, visitor spending in communities near national parks resulted in a $41.7 billion benefit to the nation’s economy and supported 340,500 jobs. Visitor spending increased by $800 million from 2018 to 2019 and the overall effect on the U.S economy grew by $1.6 billion. In the last five years, visitor spending has increased by $4.1 billion and the effect on the U.S. economy grew by $9.7 billion. 

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Assistant Secretary Sweeney Announces Applications Sought for IEED Tribal Energy Development Capacity (TEDC) Grants

June 9, 2020

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Mac Lean Sweeney announced today that the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) is soliciting applications for the Tribal Energy Development Capacity (TEDC) grant program.


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HOEVEN: SENATE PASSES LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE WITH FOUR INDIAN BILLS 

June 4, 2020

 

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today released the following statement after the Senate passed S. 886, the Indian Water Rights Settlement Extension Act with a substitute amendment offered by Senators Tom Udall, Jerry Moran and Mitt Romney.


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Assistant Secretary Sweeney Announces $3 Million

Living Languages Grant Program Funding Opportunity

June 3, 2020

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Mac Lean Sweeney announced today that the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) is soliciting applications to the Living Languages Grant Program (LLGP). This $3 Million grant program will fund between 15 and 60 grants, ranging from $25,000-$200,000, to federally recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Native entities to document, preserve and revitalize Native languages and build active speaker capacity.


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ICYMI: Interior Continues to Safely Restore Access to Public Lands

May 26, 2020

WASHINGTON - This week, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt traveled to New Mexico and Arizona before joining President Donald J. Trump at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland to commemorate Memorial Day. The Secretary met with Tribal leadership, staff from the National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and visitors to our public lands to ensure the Department of the Interior is safely restoring access to America’s public lands.  

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BIE Director Announces Haskell Indian Nations University President
May 15, 2020

Dr. Ronald J. Graham selected as Haskell Indian Nations University President

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Director of the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) Tony L. Dearman announced the selection of Dr. Ronald J. Graham as the new president at Haskell Indian Nations University (Haskell). 

 

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Interior Proposal Enhances Public Safety for Mining Operations

May 13, 2020

New proposal would eliminate duplicative state and federal investigations, unnecessary delays in addressing mining complaints and violations.

WASHINGTON - The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) unveiled a proposed rule today to improve the processing of Ten-Day Notices (TDNs). The OSM allows state partners ten days to address a reported mining complaint or violation. By providing a timely review and direct coordination with state partners when a violation is identified, remediation will occur more quickly, reducing any associated safety hazards and eliminating duplicative state and federal investigations that can cause unnecessary delays in addressing concerns or potential violations. This proposal will help ensure both the safety of the general public and the protection of the environment. 

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HOEVEN: SENATE PASSES RESOLUTION HONORING CONTRIBUTIONS OF AMERICAN INDIAN, ALASKAN NATIVE AND NATIVE HAWAIIAN WOMEN 

May 7, 2020

 

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, issued the following statement after the Senate passed a resolution he is cosponsoring to recognize the contributions of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian women to the nation.

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Interior and Partners Commit to Long-Term Initiative to Conserve the American Bison

May 7, 2020

10-year initiative provides framework for shared conservation goals

WASHINGTON - Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt today announced the Bison Conservation Initiative (BCI), a new cooperative initiative that will coordinate conservation strategies and approaches for the wild American Bison over the next 10 years. The Department of the Interior (DOI) and its partners have been successful in restoring the populations of the American Bison and supporting healthy herds. With unprecedented interest and cooperation among partners – including states, tribes, nations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – bison conservation is well equipped to move beyond the confluence of strong analytical assessments and toward coordinated conservation action.

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Assistant Secretary Sweeney Approves Agua Caliente Band’s Probate Code Request

May 7, 2020

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney today announced that she has approved the probate code of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in California.  The Department of the Interior’s Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) will now apply the code when probating trust or restricted lands within the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation.


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HOEVEN: TREASURY ANNOUNCES INITIAL ALLOCATION FROM $8 BILLION OF HISTORIC CARES ACT FUNDS TO INDIAN COUNTRY

 

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA), today issued the following statement on the announcement by the U.S. Department of the Treasury that it will allocate 60 percent of the $8 billion from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to assist tribes with COVID-19 relief efforts.


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White House Re-Establishes Council on Native American Affairs to Support Continued Inter-Agency Coordination with Indian Country

April 28, 2020 - WASHINGTON - Today, the White House, in conjunction with U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt, re-established the White House Council on Native American Affairs under Executive Order 13647. The White House Council on Native American Affairs will continue the important inter-agency coordination of the Indian Country COVID-19 Response Team assembled by the White House in early March.

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Indian Affairs Extends Deadline for the National Tribal Broadband Grant Program

Funding will be for feasibility studies on deployment or expansion
of high-speed internet in Native American communities


April 27,2020 


WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney announced an extension of the National Tribal Broadband Grant program (NTBG) grant application deadline. The NTBG is open to federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribes and is published in Grants.Gov from the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED).


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HOEVEN LEADS EFFORT TO ALLOW INDIAN GAMING ENTERPRISES ACCESS TO THE PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM

Senator Just Spoke with Treasury Deputy Secretary Muzinich who Outlined New Guidance

April 24, 2020

 

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA), today issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration (SBA) determination to include all tribally owned businesses, including Indian gaming enterprises, as eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), consistent with congressional intent. Hoeven just spoke with Treasury Deputy Secretary Justin Muzinich, who informed the senator of the new Treasury guidance.


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HOEVEN LEADS EFFORT TO ALLOW INDIAN GAMING ENTERPRISES ACCESS TO THE PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM

Senator Just Spoke with Treasury Deputy Secretary Muzinich who Outlined New Guidance

 

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA), today issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration (SBA) determination to include all tribally owned businesses, including Indian gaming enterprises, as eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), consistent with congressional intent. Hoeven just spoke with Treasury Deputy Secretary Justin Muzinich, who informed the senator of the new Treasury guidance.

HOEVEN: SENATE CONFIRMS REAR ADMIRAL MICHAEL WEAHKEE AS INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE DIRECTOR

April 21, 2020

 

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today issued the following statement after the Senate unanimously approved the nomination of Rear Admiral Michael Weahkee, of New Mexico, as the Director of the Indian Health Service (IHS) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Statement on the Coronavirus Relief Fund Process

April 16, 2020

WASHINGTON – The CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund for Tribal Governments provides payments to state, local, and tribal governments navigating the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Payments to tribal governments are to be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior and American Indian and Alaska Native tribes.


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American Indian College Fund Honors 35 Tribal College Students of the Year

Students Awarded $1,200 Scholarship Funded by Adolph Coors Foundation

Denver, Colo., April 15, 2020

The American Indian College Fund honored 35 tribal college and university students named Student of the Year at their respective higher education institutions with a $1,200 scholarship. The American Indian College Fund Student of the Year Program is sponsored by the Adolph Coors Foundation.


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Indian Affairs to Assist Tribes Eligible to Receive Funding from Treasury Under the Coronavirus Relief Fund
April 14, 2020

WASHINGTON - Monday, April 13, 2020, the Department of the Treasury launched the web portal for state, local, and tribal governments to provide their information for the disbursement of the Coronavirus Relief Fund payments. Eligible tribal governments will receive payments to help offset the costs of their response to the coronavirus pandemic. Payments will be paid no later than April 24, 2020, once registered through the web portal entitled Eligible Units: Submission Required for Receipt of Coronavirus Relief Fund Payments.

How the coronavirus threatens Native American communities
(By: Anagha Srikanth - The Hill)

The pandemic poses some unique challenges in Indian Country.

In Navajo, the novel coronavirus is called “Dikos Ntsaaígíí-Náhást'éíts'áadah.” Naming the enemy was just the first step. 


The Navajo Nation declared a public health state of emergency on March 11, two days before President Trump announced a national state of emergency. Two members of the tribe in the southwest United States have tested positive for COVID-19. They were both from the same region of the territory stretching across parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, but had also recently traveled. 


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Native American Agriculture Fund announces

2020 Request for Applications

April 1, 2020


FAYETTEVILLE, AR - The Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF), a private charitable trust devoted to serving Native farmers and ranchers, announced its second Request for Applications (RFA) today. Grant awards will be made to 501(c)(3) organizations, educational organizations, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Native CDFIs, and state and federally recognized Tribes. Funding areas include business assistance, agricultural education, technical support, and advocacy services to existing and aspiring Native farmers and ranchers.


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CARES Act Provides Critical Assistance for Tribal Governments
March 28, 2020
WASHINGTON – The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, signed into law by President Trump on Friday, provides critical relief for Indian Country to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including over $500 million in direct appropriations to Indian Affairs and an unprecedented $8 billion for Tribes.

Secretary Bernhardt's Statement on President Trump Signing the CARES Act

March, 27, 2020

Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt issued the following statement today in response to President Trump signing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law:


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Assistant Secretary Sweeney Announces BIE’s Approved Standards, Assessments and Accountability System
March 26, 2020

WASHINGTON – Today, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney announced that the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) published its Standards, Assessments and Accountability System (SAAS) Final Rule under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The SAAS Rule will provide the BIE with the ability to operate under a single unified assessment system intended to bolster professional development and student performance. This framework and consistency across the 23 states where BIE funded schools are located is critical to improving services and providing the high-quality education that BIE students and Tribes deserve. The Rule also defines “School Year” and “Agency Plan,” and clarifies requirements for comprehensive and targeted school support and improvement activities.

HOEVEN: U.S. SENATE PASSES HISTORIC LEVELS OF FUNDING FOR INDIAN COUNTRY IN PHASE III CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE
March, 26, 2020

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today released the following statement after the United States Senate passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the third phase of legislation to address coronavirus response and mitigation efforts across the country, including American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

 

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HOEVEN CONVENES LEGISLATIVE HEARING TO RECEIVE TESTIMONY ON TWO INDIAN BILLS
March, 4, 2020


WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today convened a legislative hearing to receive testimony on two bills:

 

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NATV NEWS LIVESTREAM POLITICS 2020
NATV ANNOUNCES WORLDWIDE BROADCASTING & LIVESTREAM PRODUCTIONS

Washington DC Producer, Elizabeth Lorenzen, covering The White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of Interior.




LEESBURG, VA, February 12, 2020 — Robert Cohencious, NATV Washington DC Bureau Chief and Producer from The White House, US Senate, and House of Representatives, announces today the acquisition of live broadcasting into its arsenal of production offerings.  LiveU and Boxcast will be the platform that is being implemented for this state-of-the-art modality.  LiveU and Boxcast is currently in use with broadcast networks around the globe.  NATV was introduced to many options but decided on LiveU and Boxcast because of its wide appeal to networks around the world.  LiveU was in full force during coverage of the Super Bowl and will be used by NBC Sports during the coverage of the Summer Olympics.  Robert stated that NATV is so pleased to be part of that environment and looks forward to serving Indian Country. NATV will soon be providing programing to Indian Reservations throughout the US and Canada from The White House, Senate, Congress, DOI, and other related Agencies that effect or represent Native America.  NATV, since 1989, provides the Native American community direct and immediate information from The White House, US Senate, and House of Representatives.

 

 LiveU and Boxcast is driving the live video revolution, providing live video streaming for TV, mobile, online, and social media. NATV will be providing high-quality and flawless live video, transmitted from anywhere in the world, through the use of their patented bonding and video transport technology. LiveU creates a consistent bandwidth and a reliable connection so you can acquire, manage and distribute high quality remote live broadcasts over IP.

 

Additional information can be acquired by reaching out to NATV in their Leesburg, VA office.

 

### If you would like more information about this topic, please call Robert Cohencious or Elizabeth Lorenzen at 703-554-2815, or email studio@natvnews.com

HOEVEN ADDRESSES THE 2020 EXECUTIVE COUNCIL WINTER SESSION OF THE NATIONAL CONGRESS OF AMERICAN INDIANS
February 12, 2020


WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today addressed the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) at its 2020 Executive Council Winter Session.


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Oil Production from Department of the Interior Managed Leases Surpasses 1 Billion Barrels for the First Time in History Under the Trump Administration

February 11, 2020

WASHINGTON - The Department of the Interior announced today that over one billion barrels of oil were produced in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 from leases on federal and American Indian-owned lands and offshore areas – a historic milestone. This is greater than a 29 percent increase in production compared to the end of the previous Administration, which totaled 808.7 million barrels in FY 2016, and represents a 122.5-million-barrel increase in production compared to FY 2018.


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Arizona national monument, home to sacred Native American burial sites, is being blown up for the border wall
February 7, 2020
CBS News - A national monument in Arizona, home to rare species and sacred Native American burial sites, is being blown up this week as part of construction for President Trump's border wall, Customs and Border Protection confirmed to CBS News. "Controlled blasting" inside Arizona's Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument began this week without consultation from the Native American nation whose ancestral land it affects, according to the congressman whose district includes the reservation. 

Interior Announces More Than $170 Million in Conservation Funding for States and Tribes to Reclaim and Repurpose Abandoned Coal Mines
February 6, 2020

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt today announced the availability of Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation grants through the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE). A total of $170.9 million in grants will be provided this year for states and tribes to reclaim and repurpose abandoned coal lands.


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Trump Administration Launches Presidential Task Force on Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives

January 29, 2020


WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior, the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services today held the first meeting of a White House task force to address the incidence of missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Chairman Simermeyer announces bulletin and advisory group at the New Mexico Tribal Gaming Symposium
January 29, 2020

THE PUEBLO OF SANTA ANA, N.M., Jan. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Indian Gaming Commission Chairman E. Sequoyah Simermeyer addressed Tribal Regulators in New Mexico, announced new NIGC Bulletin on Sports Books, and forecasts plans for a public facing advisory group on Agency bulletins.

Thirteen Native students receive scholarships from Shakopee Mdewakanton tribe, University of Minnesota

December 12, 2019


Prior Lake, Minn. – The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) and the University of Minnesota today announced the newest class of scholarship recipients for the SMSC Endowed Scholarship program. Theyinclude 13 Native American students from 11 different tribes.


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Allows Tribes more options to streamline job training programs

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced today the completion of a historic interagency memorandum of agreement (MOA) between 12 federal agencies for expanded participation by federal agencies in the 477-Demonstration Project (“477-initiative”). The MOA is a key requirement identified in amendments provided under the Indian Employment, Training, and Related Services Consolidation Act of 2017, Public Law 115-93, as signed by President Donald Trump on December 18, 2017. The 477-initiative was initially created by Public Law 102-477, the Indian Employment, Training and Related Services Demonstration Act of 1992, 25 U.S.C. section 3401 et seq., which allows federally recognized Tribes to integrate employment and training-related, formula-funded federal grants into a single plan with a single budget and single reporting system to improve effectiveness of those services, reduce joblessness in Indian communities, while reducing administrative, reporting, and accounting costs.  

 

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Newest and largest Native philanthropic organization launched website today, seeks public input on priorities

 

FAYETTEVILLE, AR. – The Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) launched its website today and is soliciting public feedback to inform NAAF’s priorities and future funding activities. NAAF plans to begin its first round of grantmaking in 2019. To view the survey and find additional information about NAAF, please visit NativeAmericanAgricultureFund.org.

 

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Company to significantly increase annual philanthropic giving to American Indian/Alaska Native communities over five years, launches company-wide initiative to better serve Indian Country

 

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) today announced a five-year, $50 million commitment to American Indian/Alaska Native communities to help address their unique economic, social and environmental needs. The company will expand philanthropy programs, work to improve products and services to meet the financial and banking requirements of the American Indian/Alaska Native community, and help create a greater awareness of American Indian/Alaska Native culture, history and contributions.

 

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior and retired U.S. Navy SEAL Commander Ryan Zinke participated in the Reading of the Names and the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. The secretary read 60 names. The event marks the 35th anniversary of The Wall. It spans 3 days and features over a thousand volunteers reading every name of the fallen who are enshrined on The Wall.

 

Media use B-roll of the scene and the Secretary reading names can be downloaded here.

WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke issued the following statement today which was read during the 26th Annual Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service at the United States Indian Police Academy in Artesia, N.M. The ceremony formally announced the names of three fallen law enforcement officers from the Navajo and Chickasaw Nations as new inscriptions to the Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Monument.

 

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WASHINGTON – Ring in spring with a visit to a national park during National Park Week, April 15 through 23. Throughout the country, hundreds of programs and events will encourage visitors to explore new places and enjoy new experiences. More information is available at www.nationalparkweek.org.

 

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Eureka Productions tag along as a couple supporters from outside the protest visit and report what they saw and heard in early November at Standing Rock during the demonstrations against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

 

Video by Eureka Productions 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zd5qu6lI-FA

PAGE, Ariz. – The U.S. Department of the Interior today released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for a Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan (LTEMP) for Glen Canyon Dam operations. The LTEMP will provide a framework for adaptively managing Glen Canyon Dam over the next 20 years with the goal of creating certainty and predictability for water and power users while protecting environmental and cultural resources in Grand Canyon National Park and the Colorado River ecosystem.

 

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