At this time, the United States government will likely shut down due to Congress not coming together to pass needed legislation through a continuing resolution or the required appropriations bills.  Given this situation, each federal agency has created agency contingency plans.  As Tribal Government relationships with the Federal Government are intertwined, there will be many impacts on Tribal communities.  One area of impact is communications and telecommunications.  The shutdown will affect all agencies and programs in some capacity. This alert addresses programs administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

We at AIPI are excited to continue our work on tribally-driven research and policy solutions into 2023. One important part of work is researching and publishing our monthly policy update, and we are currently developing a new quarterly format to present that information. Up until now, we have published a monthly comprehensive document covering a wide range of activity from Congress, federal agencies, and the Arizona legislature. Our new quarterly policy update will now cover a three month period, and will be designed to focus on important actions affecting Indian Country.

Who can believe it’s already February 2021?  January was an extraordinarily busy policy month with changes that would give anyone whiplash. As our new crew gets up to speed, we look to onboard another this month as we continue to grow.  Watch for an announcement at the end of the month with introductions and a program launch.

Afammi Himitta' Ayokpa (Happy New Year). We all hope this will be a better year than 2020. Yet, we cannot overlook the good work that took place in 2020, despite the dire circumstances. At AIPI, it was a very productive year and our staff rose to the occasion and produced high-quality work that served tribes. Watch for our forthcoming Annual Report to learn more about our work in 2020. 

Today, President-elect Joe Biden made history in nominating New Mexico Congresswoman Deb Haaland for Secretary of the Interior. This Cabinet-level agency of the U.S. Government oversees and manages most federal lands and natural and cultural resources and administers Native American programs, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Education, among others. Haaland is the first Indigenous person nominated for a cabinet-level position.
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