July 7th Mark-up of FY12 House Interior Appropriations Bill

July 7th Mark-up of FY12 House Interior Appropriations Bill

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies has tentatively scheduled a mark up of the FY12 Interior appropriations bill for Thursday, July 7, 2011. This bill would provide, among other things, funding for the Indian Health Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs for FY12. If approved by the Subcommittee, the full House Appropriations Committee has tentatively scheduled consideration of the bill on Monday, July 11.

July 12th House Hearing on Carcieri Fix Legislation

July 12th House Hearing on Carcieri Fix Legislation

The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs has scheduled a legislative oversight hearing on July 12, 2011 to examine H.R. 1291 and H.R. 1234, introduced by Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) and Congressman Dale Kildee (D-MI), respectively. These bills would address the U.S. Supreme Court’s Carcieri decision by reaffirming the Secretary of the Interior’s authority to place land into trust for all federally recognized Indian tribes.

The hearing will be held in room 1324 of the Longworth House Office Building at 11:00am. Witnesses for testimony will be by invitation only, and a list will be posted on the Subcommittee’s website once it is confirmed.

For more information about the Subcommittee please visit their website.

Successful Tribal Summit to Address Carcieri Decision

Successful Tribal Summit to Address Carcieri Decision

From June 21-23, USET and NCAI hosted a two-day “Carcieri Fix” Summit in Washington, D.C. Tribal leaders, Members of Congress, officials from the Obama Administration, and supporters gathered in the nation’s capital to urge passage of legislation to address the Carcieri decision. The bills that would address Carcieri are S. 676, introduced by Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI), and H.R. 1291 and H.R. 1234, introduced by Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) and Congressman Dale Kildee (D-MI), respectively. The bills would reaffirm the Secretary of the Interior’s authority to place land into trust for all federally recognized Indian tribes. The Department of the Interior had executed this authority for over 75 years under Republican and Democrat Administrations until the Supreme Court issued the Carcieri decision in 2009.

On Tuesday, June 21, the Summit began with a tribal leaders strategy session held in the U.S. Capitol. On Wednesday, June 22, the day kicked off with a rally at the U.S. Capitol. Afterwards, Members of Congress and key Administration officials made presentations on the importance of this legislation in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing room. Also, tribal leaders met with a number of congressional offices to discuss the need to overturn the Carcieri decision.

On Thursday, June 23, the Senate Committee in Indian Affairs held an oversight hearing titled, “The Indian Reorganization Act—75 Years Later: Renewing our Commitment to Restore Tribal Homelands and Promote Self-Determination.” Indian Affairs Committee Chairman Daniel Akaka, the sponsor of S. 676, noted during the hearing, “It is the responsibility of Congress to act when its intentions are misconstrued by the courts.” Akaka continued by stating, “To that end, I am committed to passing legislation to fix the Carcieri decision and to preserve the right of tribes to restore their homelands and exercise sovereignty over those lands.”

Tribal Leaders’ Carcieri Fix Summit on June 22

Tribal Leaders’ Carcieri Fix Summit on June 22

Please mark your calendars! On June 22, the United South and Eastern Tribes and the National Congress of American Indians are hosting a Tribal Leaders’ Summit on Capitol Hill to “Affirm the Federal Government’s Duty to Protect Tribal Lands: Addressing the Carcieri Decision.” For more information about the Summit, contact Jesse Renteria of the Mapetsi Policy Group at jrenteria@mapetsi.com.