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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 recently.

GSA & Energy Department Announce Procurement Opportunity for Tribal Businesses to Help Advance Clean Energy Goals

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the White House Council on Native American Affairs, seeks to purchase Energy Attribute Certificates (EACs) from a Tribal majority-owned business organization using the Indian Energy Purchase Preference (IEPP). The solicitation will lead to the first ever procurement under the IEPP in support of Biden’s Federal Sustainability Plan goal of powering all federal operations with carbon-free electricity by 2030 and the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to Tribal nations.

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On Nov. 30, 2022, the Administration announced its commitment to ensure that investments in the clean energy economy reach Tribal lands. As part of that work, the Administration created a new initiative to increase federal agencies’ use of Tribal energy through their purchasing authorities, including a pilot program. This GSA procurement furthers the Administration’s goal to pilot the IEPP and provides additional opportunities for Tribes to participate in the clean energy market. 

“As we move the federal government toward 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2030, we’re also working to ensure that investments in the clean energy economy reach Tribal communities,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan. “This solicitation to Tribal majority-owned businesses is another way we can accomplish those goals while strengthening our partnerships with Indian Country.”

"It has been almost 20 years since Congress authorized the IEPP, and the White House Council on Native American Affairs has made implementing this preference a top priority. This marks yet another opportunity for Tribes to lead the way in the transition to clean energy. When clean energy generation occurs under Tribal sovereignty, it ensures that cultural values are upheld, and leads to the best outcomes for livelihoods in Indian Country," said Wahleah Johns, Director of the DOE Office of Indian Energy.

The IEPP, which allows agencies to give preference to Tribes when buying energy products or byproducts, was established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, but had not been used by the federal government before this procurement. After assuming office, President Biden reestablished the White House Council on Native American Affairs, which has been coordinating across agencies, including GSA, to implement the IEPP. This pilot is one of many new carbon pollution-free electricity (CFE) procurements being implemented by GSA.

FCC's Office of Native Affairs and Policy is Hiring a Tribal Policy Engagement Specialist

The Office of Native Affairs and Policy (ONAP) in the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau is looking to hire two Tribal Policy Engagement Specialist with experience in Tribal affairs.

Applications should be submitted by May 1, 2024, through USAJOBS (www.usajobs.gov). The Tribal Policy Engagement Specialist announcement detailing duties and requirements is available at https://www.usajobs.gov/job/784469500.

ONAP was established by the FCC in 2010, with a mission to bring the benefits of modern communications to all Native communities.  In addition to assisting the FCC in developing policies and programs to provide communications services on Tribal lands, ONAP plans and leads the FCC’s outreach to Tribal governments and organizations and oversees the work of the Native Nations Communications Task Force.

Information about ONAP’s mission and initiatives is available at https://www.fcc.gov/office-native-affairs-and-policy

Further questions regarding this announcement can be directed to: [email protected]

CDC and IHS Listening Session on Reducing RSV in AI/AN Infants and Young Children

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Indian Health Service (IHS) are requesting tribal feedback on communication preferences and needs related to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) immunizations available for infants, children, and pregnant women.

According to the CDC, there are significant disparities in RSV hospitalization for AI/AN infants, making prevention even more important in Tribal populations.

The listening session will share information on RSV prevention and provide a space for dialogue among the agencies and families of infants and young children. Please join the CDC and IHS on May 3 from 1:30 – 3:00pm ET for this valuable discussion. 

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