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April 2024: Native American Legislative Update

FCNL is pleased to announce that effective May 28, Rachel Overstreet (Choctaw Nation), will join FCNL full-time as legislative representative for Native American advocacy! We are excited for her to join as a permanent lead lobbyist as our program evolves from the temporary congressional advocate model.

March 2024: Native American Legislative Update

More than 300 young adults joined us for Spring Lobby Weekend to advocate for the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding Schools Policies Act. Advocates met with over 100 offices and secured two new cosponsors – Rep. Jerry Nadler (NY-12) and Rep. Paul Tonko (NY-20). And more offices have expressed an interest in joining the bill! We applaud the powerful voices of our young adult network.

February 2024: Native American Legislative Update

Representatives Sharice Davids (KS-03) and Tom Cole (OK-04) reintroduced the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies in the United States Act (H.R. 7227). We are ecstatic about this bill’s reintroduction and are eager to continue to advocate for its passage during our 2024 Spring Lobby Weekend in March.

January 2024: Native American Legislative Update

During the White House Tribal Nations Summit, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced that the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative plans to release the second volume of its investigative report early this year.

November 2023: Native American Legislative Update

Despite proposing sharp cuts to many federal agencies, House appropriators protected funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Indian Education, and the Indian Health Service. Lawmakers expressed their commitment to upholding and honoring federal treaty obligations and trust responsibility to tribal nations.

October 2023: Native American Legislative Update

Congress and the Biden administration’s abusive immigration enforcement decisions can have a profound impact on Native communities. There are 151 federally recognized tribes that have a presence in a southern border state. The U.S.-Mexico border wall affects at least 29 Indigenous communities, including the Kumeyaay Nation and Tohono O’odham.

September 2023: Native American Legislative Update

Throughout 2023, lawmakers have introduced bills, held hearings, and marked up legislation impacting Native communities. Several bills are now ready for House or Senate floor consideration. Here’s a look at a few of the bills that are being advanced by House or Senate committees.

August 2023: Native American Legislative Update

This summer, the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, the Office of Environmental Justice, and the Office of Tribal Justice held a regional summit for tribal leaders in Spokane, WA. These gatherings aim to fulfill the commitment outlined in the department’s Comprehensive Environmental Justice Enforcement Strategy.

June 2023: Native American Legislative Update

In a 7-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a significant victory for Native American rights when it upheld critical provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). Congress enacted ICWA 45 years ago to rectify decades of government-enforced removal of Native children from their families in a deliberate effort to erase their cultural identity and tribal citizenship. FCNL helped draft and advocate for the passage of ICWA in 1978.