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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 during the past week.

$45.7 million grant to go to Alaska’s Native Village of Eyak

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced that they are providing a grant of $45.7 million in order to improve Multi-Modal Transportation Access to Oil Spill Response Facility. 

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This will construct a highway, dock support facilities and boat ramp at the Marine Tribal Transportation and Shepard Point Oil Spill Response Facility.

This facility will act as the oil emergency response center for tribal members and the broader community of Cordova and the surrounding area. 

“Through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re now modernizing more of the infrastructure that creates opportunity in tribal communities,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Today, we’re proud to award over $45 million to improve transportation access to the Marine Tribal Transportation and Shepard Point Oil Spill Response Facility in Alaska.”

In 2020, the Native Village of Eyak was selected to receive a $40 million grant provided in Fiscal Year 2020. 

Funding is also now available for Fiscal Year 2022 Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects in a Notice of Funding Opportunity

87 Congress Members Filed a Brief to the Supreme Court Supporting the Indian Child Welfare Act

Among the 87 members, Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Lisa Murkowski (D-AK), and Representatives Sharice Davids (D-KS) and Tom Cole (R-OK) led a bipartisan bicameral effort to support ICWA which has recently been under attack by the Supreme Court. 

In 1978, ICWA was enacted and was a step to protect the best interests of Native children and promote the stability and security of Native families and Tribes. This act helps prevent the unwarranted removal of Native children from their home and communities.   

“The Indian Child Welfare Act continues to protect the best interests of Indian children, serving as a powerful check on the loss of Tribal language, identity, and cultures through the removal of Native children from their families and communities and placement in non-Indian homes,” said U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Chairman Schatz. “Our amicus brief reaffirms Congress’ constitutional authority to legislate on Indian affairs, honors the federal government’s trust responsibility to Indian Tribes by urging the Court to uphold ICWA, and protects Indian children, families, and communities.”

"The Indian Child Welfare Act was enacted to address the crisis of Native children being separated from their families, communities, and cultures. For more than 40 years, Congress has been united in support of the constitutionality of ICWA, which is known across the country as the gold standard for child welfare policies and practices. As Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus and a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, I am proud to once again join this group of bipartisan Congressional leaders on this amicus brief to reaffirm the constitutionality of ICWA," Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS) said.

The Department of the Treasury Extends Capital Projects Fund Application Date to October 14, 2022

The American Rescue Plan provides $10 billion for payments to eligible governments to carry out critical capital projects that directly enable work, education, and health monitoring, including remote options, in response to the public health emergency. 

With that funding, the Department of the Treasury announced that "The Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund (Capital Projects Fund) will address many challenges laid bare by the pandemic, especially in rural America, Tribal communities, and low- and moderate-income communities, helping to ensure that all communities have access to the high-quality modern infrastructure, including broadband, needed to access critical services."

According to the Department, the Capital Projects Fund is set up to address the following goals:

  • Directly support recovery from the COVID-19 public health emergency by strengthening and improving the infrastructure necessary for participation in work, education, and health monitoring that will last beyond the pandemic.
  • Enable investments in capital assets designed to address inequities in access to critical services.
  • Contribute to the Administration’s goal of providing every American with the modern infrastructure necessary to access critical services, including a high-quality and affordable broadband internet connection.

Learn more about the funding here.

Neely Bardwell (direct descendant of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa), a Michigan State University student who is interning with Native News Online, contributed to these briefs.

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