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Every week Native News Online brings you the latest Indian Country news and moves from Washington, D.C. This past week, legislation was introduced to prevent the sale of properties that house American Indian and Alaska Native archives without tribal consultation and the Muckleshoot Tribe was awarded a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Labor to provide training and employment services in response to the opioid crisis. 

Legislation introduced to Prevent Federal Properties from Being Sold If the Sale Harms Access to Federal Services

U.S. Representatives Don Young (R-AK) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) introduced bipartisan legislation to require that federally recognized tribes are fully consulted before the sale or transfer of federal property that would impact their members. 

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The ARCHIVES Act amends the Federal Assets Sale Transfer Act (FASTA) to add a requirement that properties cannot be sold or transferred if the sale would harm access to agency services — such as archives or records — by a federally recognized Tribe. This bicameral bill would effectively prevent any future effort to sell the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) facility in Seattle.

"The loss of Anchorage's National Archives facility in 2014 dealt a devastating blow to our Alaska Native communities. The Archive's contents are vast, and include records from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and countless other works important to Alaska Native history and culture. Thankfully, the sale was halted by the Administration earlier this year, but we must take legislative action to prevent something like this from happening again,” Rep. Young said. “In Congress, I will continue working to ensure that the history of our country and its Indigenous people remain protected and accessible to the public for years to come."

The bipartisan Assuring Regular Consultation to Have Indigenous Voices Effectively Solicited (ARCHIVES) Act guarantees new protections for federally recognized Indian Tribes by:

  • Ensuring the relevant Federal agency consults with all impacted Tribal governments before a sale or transfer of a Federal property if it affects access to Federal agency services by a federally recognized Indian Tribe.
  • Preventing the sale or transfer of a Federal property if it would reduce or eliminate access to Federal agency services by a federally recognized Indian Tribe.

The text of the bill is available here

Muckleshoot Indian Tribe Receives $1.9M Grant to Provide Employment, Training in Response to Opioid Crisis

The U.S. Department of Labor announced on Tuesday incremental funding of $1,996,702 to members of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe in northwestern Washington to provide jobs, and employment and training services to individuals in communities impacted significantly by the health and economic effects of widespread opioid use, addiction and overdose.

Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, National Health Emergency Dislocated Worker Grant funding will create disaster-relief positions to address the effects of the opioid crisis on the local workforce.

Totaling up to $5,990,106, this grant is available to serve eligible tribal community participants in Washington’s King and Pierce counties. In October 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency, enabling the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe to request this funding.

National Indian Health Board to Host Covid-19 Youth Vaccines on Wednesday, July 21

The National Indian Health Board is hosting a listening session on Covid-19 youth vaccines to further the discussion around current challenges and needs as well as best practices for COVID-19 vaccines hesitancy in Indian Country. American Indian and Alaska Native youth as young as 12 years old are now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

NIHB invites Tribal leaders, Tribal health administrators, Tribal public health staff, Tribal advocates, stakeholders, and citizens to share with their peers the experiences and best approaches to getting community members vaccinated over the last few months. Information gathered will inform NIHB's ongoing advocacy and awareness efforts. 

What: NIHB COVID-19 Vaccines Listening Session

When: Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Time: 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Eastern Time

Who should attend?

Tribal leaders, Tribal health administrators, public health staff, advocates, and Tribal citizens

Funding Opportunity for Arts and Culture Organizations

The National Endowment for the Arts has released guidelines and application materials for two programs to distribute American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds. These programs are open to nonprofit arts and culture organizations and local arts agencies, regardless of whether they have received NEA funding in the past. This is a change from previous emergency funding requirements at the NEA and significantly expands access to federal funds for the arts and culture sector. Learn more and act by July 22, 2021.

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