- By Native News Online Staff
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.
Interior Department & University of Alaska Anchorage Partner to Provide STEM Employment to Alaska Native Students
The U.S. Department of the Interior and the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) on Thursday announced a new partnership that will increase employment opportunities for Alaska Native youth across the Department’s offices and bureaus.
The agreement will allow the Interior Department to exercise direct hire authority -- authorized by the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act -- for ANSEP students and recent graduates, allowing for placement for positions in any bureau or office and significantly streamlining the often-cumbersome process required to get federal work or internship experience.
“This new partnership exemplifies the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to removing barriers and advancing equity across the federal government,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said. Earlier in the she met with ANSEP scholars interning in Washington this week. “We must continue to mobilize an all-of-government approach to ensure that historically underrepresented communities are brought into federal service.”
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Held a Legislative Hearing on Water Issues
On Wednesday, July 12, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a legislative hearing on –
- S. 616, Leech Lake Reservation Restoration Technical Corrections Act of 2023;
- S. 1898, Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project Amendments Act of 2023; and
- S. 1987, Fort Belknap Indian Community Water Rights Settlement Act of 2023.
Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs Bryan Newland from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Associate Deputy Chief for State, Private, and Tribal Forestry John Crockett from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Secretary-Treasurer for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Indians Lenny Fineday, Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren, Fort Belknap Indian Community President Jeffrey Stiffarm, and Lieutenant Governor of the State of Montana Kristen Juras testified at the hearing.
The full video of the legislative hearing is available here.
Legislation to Support Tribal Law Enforcement, Protect Native Communities Reintroduced
Representatives Sharice Davids (D-KS), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), and Dan Newhouse (R-WA) announced the reintroduction of the Parity for Tribal Law Enforcement Act, legislation to improve hiring and increase retention for tribal law enforcement officers to better protect native communities and help address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.
“Improving the recruitment and retention of tribal law enforcement officers is vital to increasing public safety in Tribal communities,” Rep. Davids, a tribal citizen of the Ho-Chunk Nation said. “I am proud to join my colleagues in leading this important legislation, which removes administrative barriers and gives tribal law enforcement officers increased access to the same federal benefits, including retirement benefits, as other federal law enforcement officers.”
“It’s important for the federal government to respect tribal sovereignty and strengthen public safety,” Rep. Kilmer said. “I’m proud to help introduce the bipartisan Parity for Tribal Law Enforcement Act with Representatives Newhouse and Davids so that we can take steps to improve the prevention, investigation, and prosecution of crimes in Indian Country – and ensure that Tribes across the region can recruit and retain the law enforcement officers they need to serve their communities.”
“Native tribes in Central Washington and across the nation are encountering significant barriers in recruiting and retaining law enforcement officers for their reservation lands,” Rep. Newhouse said. “While their communities are combatting the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women and high crime rates, they need to be well-equipped to protect families and local businesses. The Parity for Tribal Law Enforcement Act will empower our law enforcement officers with the necessary resources to ensure the safety of both tribal and non-tribal communities.”
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