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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.

Investing in America Agenda Invests $10 million in Tribal Fish Hatcheries 

Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland on Tuesday announced the investment of $10 million to support Tribal fish hatchery programs. The funding expands the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Fish Hatchery Maintenance Program, which provides competitive funding to federally recognized Tribes to maintain, enhance, and upgrade fish hatcheries. The funding comes from the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest climate and conservation investment in history.

 

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“This investment through the President’s Investing in America agenda is vital to help Tribes ensure their fish hatcheries can support healthy fisheries that advance the ecological, economic, treaty and cultural goals of their communities,” Assistant Secretary Newland said. “The Biden-Harris administration is committed to upholding Tribal treaty rights and advancing economic development and resilience in Indian Country.”

Tribal fisheries are a critical element of economic, recreational, cultural values and fishing rights for Tribal Communities. Fish hatcheries conserve, restore, and enhance the fish and aquatic resources for future generations. Projects often include re-lining raceways, replacing water pumps, upgrading alarm systems, fencing, roof and ceiling repair, and rearing tank installation.

President Biden Authorizes Federal Funding to La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians

FEMA announced on Wednesday that federal disaster assistance has been made available for the La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians to supplement the tribal recovery efforts in the areas affected by Tropical Storm Hilary that occurred from August 19-21, 2023.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures.

Andrew F. Grant has been named Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas. Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the tribe and warranted by the results of further assessments.

Application Process for the Tribal Cybersecurity Grant Program Now Open

Also on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the opening of the application process for the Tribal Cybersecurity Grant Program (TCGP) to help tribal governments address cybersecurity risks and threats. The cyber grant program, established by the State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, helps address the unique challenges tribal governments face when defending against cyber threats.    

Digital threats impacting Native American and Alaska Native tribes are increasing and becoming more complex. Tribal sovereignty creates unique cybersecurity challenges for these groups that often lack or can’t easily access resources needed to address them. 

Applicants have until January 10, 2024, to apply for a grant, which can be used to fund new or existing cybersecurity programs. CISA encourages all eligible entities to apply for grant funds to protect our critical infrastructure and communities from malicious cyber activity.  

For more information and helpful resources on the Tribal Cybersecurity Grant Program, visit CISA’s http://www.cisa.gov/Cyber-Grants or FEMA’s webpage at Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program.   

Due to Possibility of Federal Shutdown, DHS Postpones Tribal Listening Sessions

On September 14, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (Department or DHS) provided you with the draft of a proposed Nationwide Programmatic Agreement (NPA) pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (36 C.F.R. 800.14) for maintenance, repair, and upgrades to enhance DHS-owned federal facility climate resiliency and sustainability.  

In order to provide additional background information and answer questions, DHS had scheduled two information and listening sessions on Monday, October 2, 2023.  Given the uncertainty due to a possible government shutdown, DHS will need to reschedule these sessions.  The department will plan to notify tribes as soon as possible and hope to hold the sessions within 15 days of our return.

Please feel free to reach out to DHS Deputy Federal Preservation Officer, Sarah Koeppel, at [email protected] for additional information. We look forward to rescheduling these events and hearing from you soon.

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