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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 during the past week.

Rep. Stansbury Urges Biden Administration to Include Voices of Tribal Nations ins Key Climate Summit

Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM), a member of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples, sent a letter to the Biden administration calling for the federal government to consult with Tribal Nations ahead of the United Nations’ 27th Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 27). 

In the letter, Rep. Stansbury asks the administration to develop a path forward to include Indigenous representation at the annual global climate conference.

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“Indigenous communities have lived on and managed lands and waters since time immemorial and continue to be at the forefront of combatting climate change and protecting these precious lands, waters, and coastlines,” Rep. Stansbury wrote. “Indigenous leadership on climate action must be included at the highest levels of global decision making.

Rep. Stansbury concluded her letter by asking the Biden administration to pursue five interrelated goals to increase the U.S. federal government’s Nation-to-Nation climate resilience consultation.

Approximately $9 Million Dispersed to 25 Native Tribes & Alaskan Villages

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced on Tuesday 25 Tribes and Alaskan Villages are to receive $8.6 million in grants in order to improve their transit infrastructure. The grants are awarded from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA). 

Nearly 12 million vehicle miles of service are provided by Tribal Transit systems nationwide annually according to the National Database.

FTA’s Tribal Transit Program supports public transportation for federally recognized Native tribes. There are examples of projects that were selected to receive Fiscal Year 2022 funding that can be found here.

Department of Homeland Security Extends Deadline for Council Search Nominations.

The nomination deadline for the inaugural DHS Tribal Homeland Security Advisor Council has been extended to Friday, October 21, 2022 at 11:59 pm ET. 

Nominations can be submitted here as well as information about how to apply and more information about the council. 

Rep. Mary Sattler Peltola Wants to Preserve Provisions of the Don Young Arctic Warrior Act in National Defense Authorization Act

This past week, Rep. Mary Sattler Peltola (D-AK), the first Alaska Native to serve in Congress, signed on to a letter urging colleagues in both chambers to retain funding aimed at helping improve the quality of life for service members stationed in Alaska as well as preventing suicide across the military in next year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

“Don Young was committed to ensuring that Alaska’s service members and their families had the support and resources necessary to do their jobs. I’m pleased to pick up the torch and continue where he left off,” said Peltola. “Preserving the provisions of the Don Young Arctic Warrior Act in next year’s NDAA is critical to easing many of the hardships that thousands of Alaskan service members face each year.”

“We have met extensively with service members, military spouses, and behavioral health providers based in Alaska in the wake of a doubling of deaths by suicide by soldiers stationed in Alaska in 2021 as compared to 2020,” the letter states. “The following provisions are intended to address these risk factors and support the services’ ongoing efforts to improve quality of life for service members in Alaska, while also addressing the military-wide need for additional behavioral health providers.”

Neely Bardwell (descendant of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians), a Michigan State University student who is a staff reporter for Native News Online, contributed to these briefs.

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