facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1

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.

FCC Tribal Consultation on Missing & Endangered Persons Set for June 3

On Monday, June 3, the Federal Communications Commission's Office of Native Affairs and Policy (ONAP) staff will hold a Tribal consultation session from 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. EDT to coincide with the National Congress of American Indians Mid Year 24 Convention and Marketplace in Cherokee, North Carolina.

This session will be an informational presentation and opportunity for Tribal consultation on the Federal Communications Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing that a new “Missing and Endangered Person” (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 is coordinating Tribal consultation on the NPRM to facilitate substantive engagement with federally recognized Tribal Nations and Native Hawaiian Organizations.  As part of the consultation process, Tribal leaders are 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. 

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Held Hearing on Public Safety in Native Communities on Wednesday

On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), vice chairman of the Committee, led an oversight hearing titled, “Examining Public Safety & Justice Resources in Native Communities.”

“One of our fundamental trust and treaty obligations to Tribal Nations is protecting the public safety on their lands…This oversight hearing has been purposefully informed by priorities that Tribal leaders and Native stakeholders uplifted in our listening session and legislative hearing,” said Chairman Schatz. “The United States must do everything it can to live up to the trust and treaty responsibility to protect the public safety of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.”

“I am grateful that the safety of Native families, children, and communities is one of the issues that attracts bipartisan support. I am honored to have worked with Native leaders in Alaska and across the nation over multiple Congresses on these issues of public safety. This Committee has been a great forum for both shedding light on the need to improve public safety and justice in Native communities and taking concrete steps to address the problem. We saw that through passage of VAWA 2022 which included the Tribal Title we authored,” said Vice Chairman Murkowski. 

The following witnesses participated in the oversight hearing:

  • The Honorable Bryan Newland, Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC
  • The Honorable Patrice Kunesh, Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Allison Randall, Principal Deputy Director, Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC

The full video of yesterday’s oversight hearing is available here.

Peltola Introduces Pair of Fish Bills to Restrict Bottom Trawling, Reduce Bycatch

On Wedneday, Rep. Mary Peltola (D-AK) introduced a pair of bills to restrict bottom trawling and reduce bycatch – the bipartisan Bycatch Reduction and Mitigation Act and the Bottom Trawl Clarity Act.

“Since coming to Congress, I’ve worked to make fish and fishing policy the issue of national importance it deserves to be,” Rep. Peltola said. “I know fish, I know Alaska, and I know how to work with people in both parties to get stuff done.”

The Bycatch Reduction and Mitigation Act supports Alaskan fishermen working to reduce bycatch by:

  • Authorizing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Bycatch Reduction and Engineering Program (BREP) at $10 million for five years.
  • Establishing the Bycatch Mitigation Assistance Fund, to be administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and used to help fishermen and vessel owners purchase new gear or technology to reduce bycatch – such as camera systems, lights, and salmon excluders.

View full bill text HERE. Read a one pager on the legislation HERE. The bipartisan bill is cosponsored by Rep. Garrett Graves (R-LA-06) and Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA-02). 

The Bottom Trawl Clarity Act limits bottom trawling in vulnerable ocean by:

  • Mandating each Fisheries Management Council that permits the use of any bottom trawl gear to define the terms “substantial” versus “limited” bottom contact.
  • Requiring the designation of Bottom Trawl Zones, limiting the areas where gear that scrapes the seafloor is allowed.


More Stories Like This

Native News Weekly (June 16, 2024): D.C. Briefs
25th Navajo Nation Council Honors the Service of All Women Veterans
Photographs of the Homecoming of the Three Fires Powwow
Zuni Youth Enrichment Project Prepares to Kick Off Second Annual T-Ball League
Justice Dept. Scathing Report: Native Americans Face Discrimination by Phoenix Police

Join us in celebrating 100 years of Native citizenship. On June 2, 1924, President Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act, granting Native Americans US citizenship, a pivotal moment in their quest for equality. This year marks its centennial, inspiring our special project, "Heritage Unbound: Native American Citizenship at 100," celebrating their journey with stories of resilience, struggle, and triumph. Your donations fuel initiatives like these, ensuring our coverage and projects honoring Native American heritage thrive. Your donations fuel initiatives like these, ensuring our coverage and projects honoring Native American heritage thrive.

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online StaffEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Native News Online is one of the most-read publications covering Indian Country and the news that matters to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other Indigenous people. Reach out to us at [email protected].