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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 last week.

House Natural Resources Committee to Host a Virtual Roundtable on Indian Chile Welfare Act

House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, will host a virtual roundtable to discuss the history and significance of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). ICWA is a more than 40-year-old law that protects the well-being and best interests of Native children and families in state child welfare systems. In the past several years, ICWA has faced a series of legal challenges, the most prominent being the Bracken v. Haaland Supreme Court case.

The virtual roundtable will feature expert panelists to discuss the history of ICWA and the role Congress can play to strengthen ICWA and protect Native children and families. This is the first congressional convening to examine ICWA since the onset of recent litigation efforts.

Panelists include: 

  • Mr. Jack Trope, Senior Director for Indian Child Welfare Programs, Casey Family Programs
  • Hon. Karen Returns to War, Co-Chair, Northern Arapaho Tribe
  • Prof. Maggie Blackhawk, Professor of Law, NYU School of Law

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Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Led Hearing on Three Land Bills

The Senate Commttee on Indian Affairs led by U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman o and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), vice chairman of the Committee, held a legislative hearing on Wednesday on –

Those who made testimony at the hearing were: Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs Bryan Newland from the Department of the Interior, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community President Doreen Blaker, and Puyallup Tribe Councilwoman Annette M. Bryan.

Prior to the legislative hearing, the Committee favorably reported S. 1308, a bill to amend the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act to extend the deadline for the Secretary of the Interior to promulgate regulations implementing title IV of that Act, and for other purposes, with an amendment.

The full video of the legislative hearing and business meeting is available here.

Not Invisible Act Commission to Hold Public Hearing in Flagstaff, Ariz. 

On Tuesday, May 9, the Not Invisible Act Commission will convene a public hearing in Flagstaff, Arizona. This is part of the continued work by the members of the Commission, appointed by the Departments of the Interior and Justice, to develop recommendations to guide Congress and federal agencies on how to best combat the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous peoples and human trafficking, as required under the Not Invisible Act.

The Not Invisible Act, which was led by then-Rep. Haaland and passed into law in October 2020, established the Commission as a cross jurisdictional advisory committee composed of both federal and non-federal members including law enforcement, Tribal leaders, federal partners, service providers, family members of missing and murdered individuals, and survivors.

As part of the Commission’s report to Congress and federal agencies, members of the Commission selected specific locations in the country most affected by these crises to hold field hearings this year to hear from the public to help gather feedback to shape their final recommendations.

The hearing will include both panel discussions (open press) and a public comment period (closed press to protect the privacy of speakers).

WHAT: Not Invisible Act Commission Public Hearing

WHEN: May 9, 2023, at 9:00 AM MST

WHERE: Flagstaff, Arizona

HHS Releases Guidance on the New Medicaid Reentry Demonstration Opportunity for Individuals Transitioning Out of Incarceration

The Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the new Section 1115 demonstration allows state Medicaid programs to apply to provide short-term coverage to Medicaid-eligible individuals leaving incarceration facilities.

HHS explains in the guidance that states can cover a package of pre-release services—including substance use disorders and chronic health conditions—for up to 90 days priori to the individua's expected release date. Prior to the demonstration opportunity, such services could not be covered due to a statutory exclusion. 




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