Native News Weekly (November 28, 2021): DC Briefs

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WASHINGTON – In addition to the news covered the previous week, Native News Online provides an overview every Sunday of the Washington, DC activity that has impacted Indian Country over the past week.

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Local CDFIs are asking for consultation with the Treasury Department regarding the plan to distribute the $ 1.75 billion “transformational” minority fund

On Monday, Tribal Business News, the sister publication of Native News Online, reported that the Native CDFI Network is planning to work with the US Treasury Department to discuss how the agency can create a potentially “transformational” fund of 1.75 billion institutions.

The goal, according to NCN Executive Director Jackson Brossy: “Ensure that Native CDFIs are at the table and not on the menu.”

Seven tribes sign conservation agreements with the National Park Service

The National Parks Service (NPS) announced on Wednesday that seven new historic tribal conservation agreements were signed in seven different states during 2021.

The seven tribes are:

  • Cowlitz Indian Tribe, Washington
  • Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, Texas
  • Southern Ute Indian tribe of the Southern Ute Reservation, Colorado
  • Resighini Rancheria, California
  • Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, Utah
  • Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico
  • Moapa Band of the Paiute Indians of the Moapa River Indian Reservation, Nevada

The NPS has responsibility under the National Historic Preservation Act to administer the Tribal Historic Preservation Program. The program assists Native American tribes in strengthening their historical conservation programs administered by Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPO) on tribal land. Once signed, the THPO agreements assign certain heritage preservation responsibilities to the tribes that would otherwise be the responsibility of the state.

Feedback solicited from the FCC on the transition from emergency broadband to the affordable connectivity program

Recently, Congress passed the Affordable Connectivity Program. This long-term $ 14 billion program is designed to replace the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB).

The changes that will be made under this new program are:

  • The maximum monthly benefit changes from $ 50 / month to $ 30 / month for households that are not located on eligible tribal land. The benefits for households on eligible tribal land remain unchanged.
  • New ways to qualify for the program include receiving womens, infant and child benefit (WIC) or income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • Households that have qualified for the EBB due to loss of income due to job loss or vacation since February 29, 2020 or by fulfilling the eligibility criteria for the COVID-19 program of a participating provider must re-qualify for the new program.

Eligible households can still apply, and households enrolled in the EBB program as of December 31, 2018, will continue to receive their current monthly benefit during a 60-day transition period.

Comments on the items listed in the public notice are due by December 8th. Reply comments are due by December 28th.

Bipartisan legislation to pay more than $ 5 million to the Shoshone-Paiute tribes of Duck Valley passes Senate Indian Affairs Committee

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto’s (D-NV) bill, which made substantial changes to the Shoshone-Paiute tribes of the Duck Valley Reservation Water Rights Settlement Act, was passed by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

This bill would allow the tribes to collect over $ 5 million in interest owed on their 2009 water law settlement.

In a statement, Senator Cortez-Masto emphasized the importance of the corrective changes in this bill:

“The federal government currently owes the Shoshone-Paiute tribes of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation millions of dollars due to a technical oversight, and I am working hard to get that money to the community where it belongs,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “The US government has an important relationship of trust with tribal nations, and I want Congress to do its part to give Nevada indigenous communities what they deserve.”

Minority Business Development Agency Announces 13 Projects for Native American, Alaskan, and Hawaiian Indians

The Minority Business Community Development Agency announced that $ 3.9 million in federal funding was given to 13 fellows.

The funded projects target one or more of three strategic initiatives: innovation and entrepreneurship, strategic planning and / or transformative projects. The funding for these projects is to help the growth of tribal and indigenous businesses.

Intertribal Agriculture Council was selected to provide technical assistance to Native American farmers and ranchers

On Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide around $ 75 million from the US rescue plan to 20 organizations.

One of the organizations selected for this program is the Intertribal Agriculture Council. You will work with Native American farmers, ranchers, and landowners across the country to provide training and technical support.

Technical assistance that must be provided includes business and tax planning, financial assistance planning, market planning, farmer advocacy, and business curriculum development.

Office of Minority Health Recruiting Delegates for Tribal Advisory Committee

The Office of Minority Health (OMH) recruits primary and alternate delegates to the Center for Indigenous Innovation and Health Equity Tribal Advisory Committee (CIIHE TAC) in accordance with the 12 geographic areas served by the Indian Health Service. Information on CIIHE TAC membership can be found here: Indianer / Alaska Native – The Office of Minority Health (hhs.gov), including admission requirements, selection criteria and nomination process. OMH has extended the deadline for filing nominations, which are posted on the Federal Register (86 FR 64951), from October 29 to January 7, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

If you have any questions about the delegate nomination process, please contact Violet Woo, Designated Federal Official at [email protected]. For all other tribal issues, please contact CAPT Damion Killsback, OMH Senior Advisor for Tribal Affairs at [email protected].

Neely Bardwell (descendant of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians), a Michigan State University student doing an internship with Native News Online, contributed to these letters.

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