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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.

Reminder: June 17th, Virtual Tribal Consultation & Listening Session on FCC Proposed Missing Endangered Persons Emergency Alert Code

This is a reminder that on Monday, June 17, 2024, the FCC’s Office of Native Affairs and Policy (ONAP) will hold a virtual Tribal Consultation and Listening Session from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. EDT. 

To register for this event, please visit the ONAP event registration page and fill out the requested information.  After you register, you will receive an email confirming your registration with instructions for joining the session.

About this Event

This Tribal Consultation and Listening Session will focus on the Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing that a new “Missing and Endangered Persons” (MEP) event code be added to the nation's Emergency Alert System.  Further information about the FCC’s MEP event code proceeding can be found online at www.fcc.gov/MEP.

ONAP was directed by the Commission to coordinate Tribal consultation on the NPRM to facilitate substantive engagement with federally recognized Indian Tribes and Alaska Native villages.  In addition to Tribal leaders, this consultation may be of special interest to Tribal law enforcement personnel; social services; communications and broadcasting personnel; public safety and emergency management personnel; and other interested representatives from your Nation. 

Entering Statements into the Formal Record

As part of the consultation process, Tribal leaders will be invited to present statements and comments which, at the option of the Tribal leader, ONAP will enter into the formal record for the proceeding  with the goal of ensuring that the FCC considers Tribal input on this important issue. 

We invite Tribal leaders to send written versions of their statements regarding the FCC’s proposal in advance of the June 17th virtual consultation, if possible, or after the consultation.  Please send statements to [email protected] which is an email inbox monitored by ONAP staff.

There will be time on the agenda for a discussion and listening session for other Tribal representatives after Tribal leaders have presented their statements and comments during the consultation.  ONAP staff will provide a summary of comments made by such participants for the official record, in accordance with the Commission’s rules for ex parte presentations in permit but disclose proceedings.

Filing Public Comments

We also encourage you to submit written comments directly to the docket for this proceeding via the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System, using the following docket numbers:  PS 15-91 and PS 15-94.  The NPRM was published in the Federal Register on April 18, 2024, announcing that public comments were due May 20, 2024, and reply comments are due June 17, 2024

If you have questions or seek further information please write to [email protected], or visit www.fcc.gov/office-native-affairs-and-policy.

Biden-Harris Administration Releases Data Showing Historic Gains in Healthcare Coverage in People of Color Communities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued five new reports showing historic gains in healthcare coverage and highlighting increases in coverage among minority communities since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. They include a decrease in the uninsurance rate for AI/ANs from 32.4% to 19.9% from 2010-2022.

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The coverage gains are in great part due to the Biden-Harris Administration's continuous efforts to increase access to affordable, quality healthcare, especially in underserved communities, and underscore the importance of the Inflation Reduction Act's tax breaks that lower healthcare costs and increase marketplace plan affordability. HHS also announced a new, historic $500 million investment in Navigators, who play a key role in helping people across the country sign up for healthcare, particularly in underserved communities.

SAMHSA Shares Tribal Consultation Summary on 2024 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and Federal Action Plan

The virtual Tribal listening session took place on January 4 and featured discussion on AI/AN-specific suicide prevention and how to represent these critical issues in the new national strategy. The information gathered from the listening session and a National Strategy Needs Assessment informed the content, organization, and format of the national strategy.

IHS Addressing Dementia in Indian Country – Enhancing Sustainable Models of Care

Indian Health Service (IHS) is excited to announce a third round of grant funding to help develop tribal and urban-specific models of comprehensive dementia care. This funding builds on early work and lessons learned from two-year awards offered for the first time in 2022 and again in 2023. To be eligible for these new three-year cooperative agreements, applicants must already be working toward comprehensive dementia care in the primary care setting. Applications are due by July 16 and must be submitted through www.grants.gov (HHS-2024-IHS-ALZ-0001).

The Listening Session Executive Summary detailing key themes that emerged from participants and next steps the agency plans to take are available on the SAMHSA Office of Tribal Affairs and Policy website.



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