facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1

WASHINGTON — In addition to articles already covered by Native News Online, here is a roundup of other news released from Washington, D.C. that impacts Indian Country last week.

Interior Department Invests $16 Million Co-Stewardship and Salmon Conservation in the Arctic, Kuskokwim and Norton Sound Region

The Department of the Interior announced on Friday it is investing more than $16 million over the next four years from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to enhance the resilience of ecosystems and salmon in Alaska’s Yukon, Kuskokwim and Norton Sound region through co-stewardship with Alaska Native Tribes. 

Never miss Indian Country’s biggest stories and breaking news. Sign up to get our reporting sent straight to your inbox every weekday morning. 

These initial investments serve as a catalyst for additional public and private sector investments in the region and in the foundational planning, science, and restoration projects needed to respond to the salmon crisis and to heal the broader ecosystem through co-stewardship.

The funding advances the Department’s new Gravel to Gravel initiative, a mountains to the sea restoration approach, unveiled as part of a restoration and resilience framework last month that will guide $2 billion in investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act to restore lands and waters and advance climate resilience.

Gravel to Gravel is the Department’s response to a resounding call for federal action from Alaska Native Tribes and subsistence users. 

Rural Health Care

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s Wireline Competition Bureau Releases Order DA 23-189 Extending the Close of the Funding Year (FY) 2023 Application Filing Window to May 1, 2023. 

On March 8, 2023, the FCC released an Order (DA 23-189) extending the deadline for filing FY2023 funding requests to May 1, 2023.  

The FY2023 Application Filing Window opened December 1, 2022 and now closes May 1, 2023. This means that you can submit your funding requests (FCC Form 462 or FCC Form 466) no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on May 1, 2023. We highly encourage you to submit your funding requests as early as possible in the filing window. Learn more about filing windows.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2023, RHC will host their Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program office hours webinar at 2 p.m. ET. - Register 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023, RHC will host their Telecommunications (Telecom) Program office hours webinar at 2 p.m. ET - Register

FCC to Host Virtual Tribal Consultation on April 13

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has invited tribal leaders to a virtual consultation on Thursday, April 13 at 3:00 p.m. EDT, to discuss a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) adopted on February 16, seeking comments on improvements to the E-Rate program that would increase access to E-Rate support for Tribal schools and libraries. 

Information about the consultation is available at https://www.fcc.gov/news-events/events/2023/04/tribal-consultation-proposed-rules-address-barriers-e-rate-access.  

 Tribal leaders may register by sending an email message to [email protected], and are encouraged to bring staff and library, school, and information technology (IT) representatives to the Tribal consultation as observers. Tribal leaders may also designate a proxy(ies) to attend on their behalf.   

The NPRM seeks comment on the following:

  •         Simplifying E-Rate forms and cost-allocation requirements;
  •         Providing an additional competitive bidding exemption for low-cost services and equipment for Tribal applicants;
  •         Increasing the maximum discount rate for Category Two services from 85% to 90% for Tribal applicants;
  •         Allowing Tribal college libraries that serve a dual role by also serving as the Tribal community’s public library to be eligible for E-Rate support;
  •         Providing an extended or separate application filing window for Tribal libraries to align with their Tribal procurement requirements and approval processes;
  •         Increasing the Category Two $25,000 funding floor for Tribal applicants;
  •         Adding a Tribal representative to the Universal Service Administrative Company’s Board of Directors, which administers the program for the FCC; and
  •         Considering other potential reforms to encourage greater participation by Tribal or similarly situated small or rural applicants, particularly if they face barriers that impede equitable access to the E-Rate program.

Tribal governmental entities and other stakeholders are encouraged to review the NPRM and to consider filing comments in CC Docket No. 02-6 in the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/standard

  •         Comments are due Monday, April 24, 2023.
  •         Reply Comments are due Tuesday, May 23, 2023.
  •         Interested parties are also welcome to submit information for this proceeding after the May 23, 2023 deadline, if additional time is needed.

Please email the Office of Native Affairs and Policy with any questions at [email protected].

More Stories Like This

Native News Weekly (March 3, 2024): D.C. Briefs
USA Today Named Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flannagan to Women of the Year List
Legislation Introduced to Create a Native American Voting Rights Commission in Nebraska
Zuni Youth Enrichment Project Will Offer Multiple National Park Trips for Youth in 2024
Federal Government Shutdown Averted by Short-term Extension

Native Perspective.  Native Voices.  Native News. 

We launched Native News Online because the mainstream media often overlooks news that is important is Native people. We believe that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers.  We hope you'll consider making a donation to support our efforts so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous-centered journalism. Thank you.

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online StaffEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Native News Online is one of the most-read publications covering Indian Country and the news that matters to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other Indigenous people. Reach out to us at [email protected].