The American Indian Policy Institute

Leading the discourse on tribally-driven, informed policy-making.

AIPI Joins Watts College

AIPI Watts College Welcoming Event | Sept 2019

 

November 2020 Policy Update

Policy Recap for November 2020

The most contested election in history has passed but as of publishing, the President of the United States has yet to concede. This election cycle was historic for Indigenous candidates seeking office with a record number running and elected at all levels from council persons to Congress. Further, in some states, Native voters carried the general candidates to victory.  In fact, 6 Indigenous candidates were elected and this number is a record. 

We have produced a full overview of National and Arizona candidates elected to the 117th Congress and the Arizona 55th Legislature click here.

As the process plays out, a lame-duck Congress is in session. Six bills were considered or introduced that would impact Indian Country.  One of those, S.3264, Bridging the Digital Divide Act of 2020,  seeks to establish a Tribal Broadband Interagency Working Group. At last count, there were 7 tribal specific broadband bills and 30 plus general broadband bills awaiting action.

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October 2020 Policy Update

As the election looms in the next few days, four significant bills (in addition to other bills) with relevance to Indian Country were signed into law in the last 30 days.

BECAME LAW S.209 PROGRESS for Indian Tribes Act was signed into Public Law No: 116-180 on 10/20/20. The PROGRESS Act aims to improve the effectiveness of tribal governments by streamlining self-governance and self-determination programs and policies, including bringing into alignment processes used by the U.S. Department of Interior and those used by the Indian Health Service.

BECAME LAW Two bills — S.227 Savanna’s Act and S.982 Not Invisible Act of 2019 — addresses the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and the urgent need for reform in law enforcement and justice systems in Indian Country. 

BECAME LAW Lastly, H.R.1900 Native American Business Incubators Program Act supports Indigenous entrepreneurs and economies by providing tribal businesses with access to funding, training, technical assistance, and additional resources so they have a better shot at success. 

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September 2020 Policy Update

 Policy Recap for September 2020

Despite a slow year in Congress, four significant proposals with relevance to Indian Country are now working their way through the legislative process.

S.209 PROGRESS for Indian Tribes Act passed both houses of Congress and is now awaiting a signature from President Donald Trump. The PROGRESS Act aims to improve the effectiveness of tribal governments by streamlining self-governance and self-determination programs and policies, including bringing into alignment processes used by the U.S. Department of Interior and those used by the Indian Health Service.

Two bills — S.227 Savanna’s Act and S.982 Not Invisible Act of 2019 — address the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and the urgent need for reform in law enforcement and justice systems in Indian Country. Both bills have passed in the Senate and are waiting to be voted on in the House of Representatives.

Lastly, H.R.1900 Native American Business Incubators Program Act supports Indigenous entrepreneurs and economies by providing tribal businesses with access to funding, training, technical assistance, and additional resources so they have a better shot at success. The act passed in the House of Representatives on September 21.

Meanwhile, in Arizona, a policy change made by the Office of the Secretary of State means tribal members with non-traditional addresses can register to vote using plus codes (codes based on longitude and latitude). According to a recent report from the Native American Rights Fund, about 18 percent of Native American voters outside of Maricopa and Pima counties have access to home mail delivery. This means many Indigenous residents have a restricted ability to vote by mail. This policy change should make it easier for tribally-enrolled voters, many of whom receive mail at post office boxes, to vote by mail.