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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.

Biden Administration Launches Heat.gov with Tools for Communities Facing Extreme Heat

Extreme heat mortality disproportionately affects Native American and Black communities, as well as those living in the urban core or very rural neighborhoods, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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The Biden Administration has launched Heat.gov with tools for communities facing extreme heat. Heat.gov will provide a one-stop hub on heat and health for the nation and is a priority of President Biden’s National Climate Task Force and its Interagency Working Group on Extreme Heat. 

Heat.gov, provides the public and decision-makers with clear, timely and science-based information to understand and reduce the health risks of extreme heat. 

Fact Sheet

2021 Gross Revenue Numbers for Indian Gaming Industry 2021 to be Announced on Wednesday 

The National Indian Gaming Commission Chairman E. Sequoyah Simermeyer, and Vice Chair Jeannie Hovland are set to announced the Indian Gaming Industry’s Gross Gaming Revenue numbers for the fiscal year 2021 will be released on Wednesday, August 10, 2022.

This will be announced at the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association’s Tradeshow and Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

The annual announcement is based on independent audit reports from 510 Indian gaming establishments that are operated by 243 gaming tribes in 29 states. Everything is conducted in accordance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. 

To watch virtually, you will need to register in advance. It is set to take place at 12:00 noon - CDT. 

To learn more, please click here.

EDA to Award Lakota Funds $5 Million 

The U.S. Dept. of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) is investing $5 million to develop a construction trades training program on tribal reservations across South Dakota. The funding comes through the American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge.   

The $5 million grant is going to Lakota Funds, Kyle, South Dakota to create the program Building Jobs, Building Homes, a program for residents of the nine tribal reservations of South Dakota. 

Not only will this create a construction trades program, but it will also implement a certified appraiser program to address a significant barrier to housing construction on Tribal lands. 

​​“President Biden is committed to ensuring that tribal communities are provided with the resources they need to diversify and grow their economies,” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said. “This EDA investment will create a workforce training program for the construction industry on Tribal lands, helping to address a shortage of housing inventory while providing quality, demand-driven training for tribal members.”

White House Committed to Address Growing Wildfire Threat

President Joe Biden has directed his Cabinet officials, White House Homeland Security team, and the National Climate Task Force to build on his 2021 wildfire initiatives this year by ensuring wildfire prevention, preparedness, and response is a top priority, and bringing a whole-of-government approach to increasing our Nation’s resilience to catastrophic wildfires. Fact Sheet

  • Tribal highlights:
    • DOI Bureau of Indian Affairs is able to coordinate with tribes to add an additional 500 tribal firefighters to support firefighting response as needed.
    • Increase training to state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) Partners.
    • The US Forest Service’s plan, Confronting the Wildfire Crisis, lays out its 10-year strategy to work with DOI and other partners to treat up to an additional 20 million acres on National Forest System lands and up to an additional 30 million acres of other Federal, State, Tribal, and private lands. 
    • Department of the Interior released a companion Five-Year Wildfire Monitoring, Maintenance, and Treatment Plan that roadmaps its strategy to reduce severe fire risk on 10 million acres of federal land, tribal forest lands, and rangeland that pose a high wildfire hazard.  
    • USDA, DOI, and FEMA announced the formation and membership of the Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission, tasked with forming Federal policy recommendations and strategies on ways to better prevent, manage, suppress, and recover from wildfires. Appointments to the Commission were recently announced and the first meeting is scheduled for this Fall. As required in the BIL, the commission represents federal agencies, state, local, and tribal governments, and the private sector.
U.S. Forest Service Issues Record of Decision for Uinta Basin Railway Project

The U.S Forest Service issued Record of Decision for the Uinta Basin Railway Project.

The Uinta Basin Railway will connect Uinta Basin in northeastern Utah to the National Railway Network. For the first time, this will provide energy mineral producers in this area with the ability to access markets throughout the nation. 

The Ute Indian Tribe, located on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, is a partner and stakeholder in the Uinta Basin Railway Project. The Tribe was heavily involved in the the project and even had direct interface with the White House to advance the federal permitting process. 

“We are pleased to have played a part in helping the rail project reach this important milestone,” said Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee Chairman Shaun Chapoose. “The economic well-being of our membership depends on energy mineral production on our Reservation. Connecting our oil and gas industry partners to new markets is a critical piece to tribal economic development.”

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

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