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WASHINGTON — This past Wednesday, Roselyn Tso (Navajo) won approval from the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, advancing her nomination to serve as director of the Indian Health Service (IHS). Her nomination is now ready for consideration by the full Senate. 

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.

FCC to Host a Webinar to Review the Broadband Data Collection (BDC) System 

All tribal leaders are encouraged to attend the Tribal BDC Webinar on Broadband Data Collection System and Production Fabric. It will take place on July 26, 2022 at 2 p.m. ET. 

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The webinar will be reviewing the BDC system and answering any questions participants may have. They will also be helping tribal filers with getting familiar with how to navigate, how to submit availability data, and how to access and work with the production. 

Participants will be able to submit questions during the webinar and may also be submitted in advance to [email protected]. The webinar will also be recorded and posted to the FCC’s website and YouTube channel. 

​​To register to participate in the webinar remotely, interested parties should send an e-mail with name, contact information, and Tribal affiliation, if any, to [email protected].

Tribal Leaders Invited to Virtual Tribal Consultations with the Department of Homeland Security 

To discuss the implementation of  Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments of November 6, 2000; and Executive Order 14053, Improving Public Safety and Criminal Justice for Native Americans and Addressing the Crisis of Missing or Murdered Indigenous People of November 15, 2021, Tribal leaders are invited to a virtual consultation meeting. 

Input is requested on the following: 

(1) The Department’s efforts related to Executive Order 14053, Improving Public Safety and Criminal Justice for Native Americans and Addressing the Crisis of Missing or Murdered Indigenous People; and

(2) Implementation of the DHS’s 2021 Action Plan for Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships and additional action items to consider for including in the 2022 revision.

The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs, Miriam Enriquez will serve as the Department’s tribal consultation official and lead this tribal consultation effort. 

The DHS 2021 Action Plan can be found here: https://www.dhs.gov/publication/dhs-tribal-consultation-policy

Scheduled Sessions: 

July 18, 2022, 2:00 p.m. ET join here

July 20, 2022, 3:00 p.m. ET join by phone only: (855)852-7677

July 26, 2022, 3:00 p.m. ET join here.

July 27, 2022, 12:00 p.m. ET join here.

July 28, 2022, 4:00 p.m. ET join by phone only: (855)852-7677

August 3, 2022, 12:00 p.m. ET join here.

Legislation Introduced to Support Tribal Law Enforcement

Representatives Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA) introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives called the Parity for Tribal Law Enforcement Act. The Act will make sure that tribal law enforcement officers get federal benefits like injury and death, retirement and pension; programs they are not currently eligible for. 

These changes are in hopes that the retention rate will increase and hiring will improve in order to increase the protection for native communities. 

Reps. Newhouse and Kilmer said they want to address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls (MMIW).

"My legislation will equip our tribal communities with the resources they need to keep all of our communities safe," said Rep. Newhouse.

Tribal-specific Interim & Final Performance Deadlines for All 2.5 GHz Rural Priority Window Licensees Waived 

Per a Public Notice released by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, the Tribal-specific interim and final performance deadlines for all 2.5 GHz Rural Priority Window licensees have been waived in order to afford them more flexibility to complete deployments. 

Instead, all Tribal Window licensees will be subject to the generally applicable performance deadlines for all other 2.5 GHz licenses initially granted after October 25, 2019. They must also make and interim showing within four years of initial license grant and a final showing within eight years of initial license grant. 

In order to alleviate the logistical pressures surrounding meeting previous Tribal-specific deadlines, they have been waived. This allows Tribal Window licensees more time to complete their buildouts. 

Any questions can be sent to [email protected]. It is called the Parity for Tribal Law Enforcement Act. The Act will make sure that tribal law enforcement officers get federal benefits like injury and death, retirement and pension; programs they are not currently eligible for. 

These changes are in hopes that the retention rate will increase and hiring will improve in order to increase the protection for Native communities.  

Neely Bardwell (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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