American Indian Policy Institute
Leading the discourse on tribally-driven, informed policy-making.
This month’s Federal Policy Update features resolutions honoring the work of Rep. Don Young who represented Alaska At-Large. Young served as a member of the House of Representatives starting in 1973 and served for 49 years. Young worked on behalf of Alaskan Native communities in addition to serving all of Indian Country as the ranking member on the Subcommittee on Indigenous Peoples of the U.S. Resolutions in both the House and Senate outline Rep. Young’s Legacy. In addition, there is also important legislation to reauthorize funding for the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Trust Fund, which has assisted many Indigenous professionals looking to work with environmental issues and public policy. And lastly, there are several bills seeking to include Tribes in grant programs to address healthcare, workforce training, and cybersecurity. See the full April Federal Policy Update for a complete list of federal legislation affecting Indian Country.
This month’s Federal Register Update includes an important notice regarding a new application window for the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF). The ECF will open its application window from April 28 - May 13, 2022. This fund can be used to purchase equipment and internet services at schools and libraries, please see the complete notice for more information. This month’s update also includes notices for final rules affecting gaming and the Buy Indian Act. There are also important notices seeking nominations to important boards and committees as well as upcoming public meetings for other advisory councils. Please see the full April Federal Register Update for a complete list of this month’s notices affecting Indian Country.
There were two important Congressional committee meetings this past month to hear information on several pieces of legislation affecting specific Tribes, and initiatives affecting all of Indian Country. One hearing that took place was an Oversight Hearing for “The Opioid Crisis in Tribal Communities” in the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Please see the full April Congressional Committee Meeting update for links and additional information on these meetings.
This month’s State Policy update featured six bills by Arizona’s 55th legislature that directly affect Arizona’s Tribes and Tribal members. One of note is HB2841, “An Act Appropriating Monies,” would, subject to applicable laws, dictate the sums or sources of revenue appropriated for the fiscal years 2022-23. Tribal-centered appropriations would include: $4.7B in Tribal Pass-Through Funding, $325K for the Tribal College Dual Enrollment Program, $2.1B for the Tribal-State Compact Fund, and $63.5K for the Governor’s Office on Tribal Relations.
These and other important Arizona legislation activities are available on the full April State Policy Update.
This month’s Federal Policy update features the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Tribes have long advocated for the reauthorization of VAWA to gain jurisdiction over non-Indians who commit certain crimes on Tribal lands. The expanded jurisdiction has been long needed in order to address long standing public safety issues. VAWA’s authorization finally passed as part of a funding bill and was signed by President Biden on March 15, 2022. Check this month’s Federal Policy update for more on the VAWA reauthorization and other important legislation.
This month’s Federal Register update includes notices for upcoming funding opportunities such as the Native American Business Incubators Program. There are also important notices calling for Tribal representation on boards such as the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group and the Advisory Council to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. Please be sure to check this month’s Federal Register update for more information on these and other important Federal Register notices.
There were also important Senate committee meetings this past month to hear information on several pieces of legislation affecting specific Tribes, and initiatives affecting all of Indian Country. One important hearing that took place was the Oversight Hearing “Buy Native American: Federal Support for Native Business Capacity Building and Success" in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Please see the full March Congressional Committee Meeting update for links and additional information on these meetings.
This month’s State Policy update featured 8 bills by Arizona’s 55th legislature that directly affect Arizona’s Tribes and Tribal members. There are a couple of highlights of note. SB1215, “Establishing the Study Committee on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples,” would establish the “Study Committee on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples (“the Committee”)” to conduct a comprehensive studies, work with law enforcement to track and collect data on violence against indigenous peoples, review policies, practices, prosecutorial trends, that impact violence against indigenous peoples, propose measures to ensure access to culturally appropriate victim services for indigenous peoples who have been victims of violence, and propose legislation to address issues identified by the study committee. The activities, findings and recommendations of the Committee will culminate in a report on submitted or before December 1, 2023, December 1, 2024, and December 1, 2025, to the governor, the president of the Senate, and the speaker of the house of representatives and provide a copy of these reports to the secretary of state.
Additionally in the March State Policy update, SCM1004, “A Concurrent Memorial Urging the United States Department of the Interior to Investigate Former and Current Indian Boarding Schools in Arizona,” was introduced. This bill would urge that the United States Department of the Interior investigate all fifty-one former and current Indian boarding schools located in Arizona and uses or designates the use of, ground-penetrating radar to look for unmarked graves and return any discovered remains to their families or tribes, as requested, for appropriate repatriation and burial. The Secretary of State of the State of Arizona would transmit copies of this Memorial to the Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior. These and other important Arizona legislation activities are available on the full March State Policy Update.
This month’s Federal Policy update features legislation that begins to address some of the long-standing needs in Indian Country. S.3623, the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022 is the most impactful bill moving through the legislative process this month. This bill would reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and also extend Tribal jurisdiction over new offences involving domestic violence and over non-native offenders. There is also S.3560, the PLACE Act, which seeks to build and promote a greater creative economy based on local arts and could potentially support Tribal arts initiatives. These and other important bills are available on the full February Federal Policy update.
This month’s Federal Register update includes important updates and notices on federal programs affecting Indian Country. There were several important final rule notices like the inclusion of Tribal Libraries in E-Rate Program eligibility and the finalized rules and regulations of the Affordable Connectivity Program. In addition, there were also important notices of funding opportunities such as funding for the Tribal Transit Program. For these and other important Federal Register updates, please see the full February Federal Register update.
There were also important Senate committee meetings this past month to hear information on several pieces of legislation affecting specific Tribes, and initiatives affecting all of Indian Country. Please see the full February Congressional Committee Meetings Update for links and additional information on these meetings.
This month’s State Policy update featured 16 bills by Arizona’s 55th legislature that directly affect Arizona’s Tribes and Tribal members. There are a couple of highlights of note. SB1693, “Holiday; Indigenous Peoples' Day,” would replace the second Monday in October, from “Columbus Day” to “Indigenous Peoples' Day” HB2771, “Election Procedures; Registrations; Campaign Finance” would amend multiple sections of Title 16 to include an opportunity for comment from tribes regarding polling places and voting center locations, and states that any source agency shall accept tribal identification numbers and nontraditional residential addresses, including addresses that can be identified by mile markers or geographic or other identifying features. These and other important Arizona legislation are available on the full February State Policy Update.
Even in the final months of 2021, the 117th United States Congress continues to demonstrate a commitment to working on issues that are important to Indian Country. In addition to holding three hearings on issues critical to Indian Country, Senate and House Committees took action on 19 legislative items in the past month. This year’s Native American Heritage Month included some exciting policy updates.
While negotiations over the Build Back Better Act, H.R.5376 are still ongoing, the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed into law by President Biden on November 15. The act, H.R.3684, delivers critical federal resources for infrastructure development and support in Indian Country. More than $11 billion is allocated to Tribes and Tribal organizations to support broadband deployment, natural resource management, transportation projects, energy development, environmental remediation, climate resiliency, and water and sanitation facilities construction.
Negotiations over the bipartisan infrastructure bill, H.R.3684 and the Build Back Better Act, H.R.5376 are still ongoing. Both these legislations have the potential to further invest in Tribal nations depending on the final form they end up taking. Beyond that, there have been several important hearings, legislation updates, and administrative action updates that have taken place over the last month. This month’s hearings in both House and Senate committees moved forward important bills such as H.R.1620, the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2021, H.R.2930, the Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony Act of 2021, as well as several land transfer bills. It was also a significant month for administrative actions with a proclamation for Indigenous Peoples Day 2021 and executive orders expanding the protected areas of Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Please be sure to read our entire update to see a full list of all the important Federal legislative and administrative actions taken this past month.