We waited anxiously for very-last minute-decisions on some key programs, especially the Special Diabetes Program for Indians, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. As it turned out, Congress did provide a temporary extension for these critical programs.
President Trump’s decision to reduce Bears Ears National Monument
disregards Indigenous peoples’ historical connection to the land. The
lack of tribal consultation prior to this proclamation is a clear
signal that this administration devalues the importance of land to
Indigenous traditions and values.
December was a disappointing month for public lands. Congressional and executive actions over the past few weeks have opened up millions of acres of once-protected land in Utah and Alaska to oil and gas drilling, putting the environment at risk while breaching the trust and endangering the security of thousands of Native Americans.
Since returning from its August recess, Congress has given most of its public attention to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, providing tax breaks for some of the more fortunate among us, and trying to agree on funding for the government, before it has to shut down.