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Native American Legislative Update - March 2017 

The 115th Congress seemed a bit unsteady as it began the year with a new Administration in place at the other end of the National Mall. Even so, the congressional committees that deal with Native American Affairs have moved ahead, focusing on defining priorities – the President’s, the tribes’ and their own.

Update Infrastructure in Indian Country 

Infrastructure and Hope

Testimony in a House hearing frames the discussion about infrastructure development in Indian country. Tribes want to be consulted. Consultation does not mean telling us what you're going to do. Consultation means listening and making the necessary changes to ensure these projects do not harm our people, our lands, and our resources.

Update Health Care Infrastructure in Indian Country 

The Debate Continues

Last year, the quality of health care offered by the Indian Health Service was called into question. This year, Congress begins to focus on the inadequate facilities that fail to support good quality care.

Update Budget Outline Effects on Indian Country 

Congress is hurrying to pass this year's budget (FY2017) before the Easter recess... and before the April 28th government-shutdown deadline. Meanwhile, the work on next year's budget (FY2018) gets underway. And almost everything affects Indian Country.

Update Native American Legislative Update 

- February 2017

One month in, and Congress is diving into some complexities. Health care is not that easy to fix, it turns out. And budgets don’t balance when you throw in big spending with tax cuts. It’s all part of the reality check that visits each new Congress as it gets rolling.

Update Report Cards 

Federal relationships with tribes and their members are at "high risk"

Federal agencies don't always get graded -- but when they do, it's usually not a good thing. Federal agencies dealing with Native Americans have repeatedly earned bad marks for the conditions of schools and health facilities, for staffing, for lack of training of agency personnel, and for cumbersome regulations and procedures. Now new reports grade some of these programs as "high risk."

Update Health Care  

-- Repeal, Repair, Replace?

Members of Congress went home to their districts and states over the Presidents' Day recess, and presumably heard a lot about health care. With all its problems, the Affordable Care Act has made health care possible for millions of people. Congress hasn't yet figured out how to respond.

Update Who's Who in Washington Now? 

Many of the new appointees will have some (or major) responsibilities that will affect Indian Country. We're keeping an eye on nominations.

Update Standing Rock 

Who Knew What, and When?

Did the Army Corps of Engineers realized that it was on shaky legal ground in granting a permit to Energy Partners to complete the last segment of the Dakota Access Pipeline? This legal memo, delivered to the Corps in early December, raises some deep questions.

Update Standing Rock: The Sacred Fire Has Been Put to Sleep 

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe has announced that the Sacred Fire of the Seven Councils has been put to sleep. "The movement is in a phase of transition and growth. The encampment brought global attention to our struggle, and now we face the task of carrying that momentum forward..."

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