Native News Weekly (8/22/2021): In Brief DC

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WASHINGTON – Every week, Native News Online brings you the latest news and movements from Washington, DC Exciting news arrived on Monday when Native American voting rights of 2021 and Thursday when President Joe Biden appointed Confederate Tribal Citizen Umatilla Charles Sams III to become the first Native American to become director of the National Park Service. More news is below:

Federal Coalition Announces National Tribal Broadband Summit

The Interior Ministry announced Monday that a federal coalition between the Interior Ministry, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Rural Development Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Administration of Telecommunications and Information Department (NTIA) of the Commerce Department will hold a summit conference to improve broadband access across the country.

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The summit will be held virtually on September 17, September 24 and October 1. Registration for the National Summit trib under-connected Indigenous students; libraries, museums and tribal cultural centers; private sector stakeholder organizations; and federal program managers and policy makers.

Access to high speed internet, or even any internet, is a problem in many Aboriginal communities. Lack of internet access was one of the main causes of low voter registration for the 2020 election among indigenous communities.

According to a 2018 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) report, about 35% of people living on tribal lands do not have broadband access. To begin to address this issue, this summit provides a space for “leaders of the broadband development ecosystem to share best practices, new ideas, and lessons learned from their real-world experience of bringing high-speed Internet to consumers. tribal businesses, governments and households. . ”

“The tribes have lagged further behind in the digital divide than most parts of the country due to the continued lack of infrastructure investment in the Indian country,” Home Secretary Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo ). “This summit represents an opportunity to leverage the whole-of-government approach of the Biden-Harris administration to help ensure that the federal government fulfills its responsibilities to tribal communities by bringing broadband to Indian country, fueling economic development and ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to be successful. “

The link to register for the event can be found here.

$ 25 million awarded to 14 tribal health facilities by IHS

Fourteen tribes and tribal organizations are to receive a portion of $ 25 million under a small competitive outpatient program from the Indian Health Service (IHS) to fund the construction, expansion or modernization of small health facilities in ambulatory health.

The following tribes and tribal organizations have received funding:

  • Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium – Anchorage, Alaska – $ 2,000,000
  • Southcentral Foundation – Anchorage, Alaska – $ 2,000,000
  • Akiachak Indigenous Community – Akiachak, Alaska – $ 2,000,000
  • Native Association of the Kodiak Region – Kodiak, Alaska – $ 2,000,000
  • Ninilchik Village Tribe – Ninilchik, Alaska – $ 1,960,000
  • Tribe from the village of Seldovia – Seldovia, Alaska – $ 2,000,000
  • Pit River Health Department – Burney, CA – $ 2,000,000
  • Karuk Tribe – Happy Camp, California – $ 1,932,560
  • Blackfeet Tribe from the Blackfeet Reserve – Browning, MT – $ 2,000,000
  • Seneca Nation of Indians – Salamanca, New York – $ 656,986
  • Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma – Ponca City, Oklahoma – $ 600,000
  • Potawatomi Citizen Nation – Shawnee, Oklahoma – $ 2,000,000
  • Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas – Livingston, Texas – $ 2,000,000
  • Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah – Cedar City, Utah – $ 2,000,000

This program supports tribes as they strive to expand access to various outpatient services for patients.

Since 2001, when the program was launched, more than 60 projects have been funded for a total of over $ 99 million.

Tribal leaders urged to consult on strengthening public safety and law enforcement with the Bureau of Justice Assistance

Tribal leaders and tribal representatives are invited to participate in the annual tribal consultation with the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to discuss and identify criminal justice policy issues and tribal priorities in order to support tribal justice strategies that will to better achieve safer communities. The main objectives of this consultation are to improve law enforcement and public safety in tribal communities and indigenous villages. It is also to support the administration of grants and the development of criminal justice policies to also support the application of local, state and tribal laws in achieving safer communities.

Two sessions

During the first session, the BJA will provide information on funding and tribal justice programs and preview the questions that will be asked in the next session.

During the second session, the BJA will hear from tribal leaders and stakeholders to help explain how BJA’s tribal assistance funds and programs can better support tribal and indigenous communities. There will be a range of areas of focus for this session including: Comprehensive Planning of the Justice System, Tribal Justice Facilities, Judicial System Improvements, Substance Abuse Programs, Assistance civil and criminal law, alternatives to incarceration and the fight against violent crime in indigenous communities.

The main effort of this session is to clarify these priorities, thus resulting in a more efficient distribution of the necessary grants.

The second session will also include a question and answer period for tribal leaders.

Pre-consultation session: Overview of BJA’s funding and tribal justice programs

Wednesday, August 25, 2021 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT

To register click here.

National Endowment for the Humanities Awards Oneida Nation of India with Planning Grant

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) on Tuesday awarded the Oneida nation of India, based in Oneida, New York, a planning grant of $ 20,789 to preserve tribal archives containing textiles, artifacts and historical documents documenting the history of the nation, including the papers of Chief William Rockwell, who played a pivotal role in a United States Supreme Court case preserving the Oneida Reservation, and the pipe of Chief Skenondoa, a hero of the American War of Independence involved in the Canandaigua Treaty of 1794 recognizing the sovereignty and land rights of Oneida.

The grant was awarded in the Supporting NEH Cultural Heritage Collections category. The planning project includes an assessment of the Oneida Indian Nation Archives building and collections and would result in recommendations to improve the sustainability, energy efficiency and safety of the collections.

Neely Bardwell, a Michigan State University student doing an internship with Native News Online, contributed to these briefs.

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