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WASHINGTON — Here is this week's roundup of news and policy updates from Washington, D.C. that affect Indian Country. 


GAO Publication Says Tribal Economic Development Programs are Fragmented & Overlap

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has published a recent report regarding economic development in Indian Country. This report was published in response to The Indian Community Economic Enhancement Act of 2020 which includes a provision that GAO conduct a study on Indian economic development. To read the full report, click here.

The GAO found federal programs that support tribal economic development are fragmented and often overlap each other. The GAO examined eight different programs specifically for tribal entities and 14 additional programs with tribal entities that were eligible for funds. 

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The total amount of assistance provided to tribes by these programs is unknown due the lack of data analysis through program agencies - SBA’s Office of Capital Access and USDA’s Farm Service Agency. 

The lack of data prevents Congress from being able to assess the effectiveness of the programs and subsequently not able to make changes that could possibly support Indian Country. 

Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to Hold a Listening Session

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of the Interior (DOI) are planning to hold a listening session regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta. This case addresses a state’s criminal jurisdiction to prosecute non-Indian defendants in Indian Country. 

There will be two sessions analyzing the national impacts in Indian Country and how this ruling may pose a threat to tribal sovereignty.  

Wednesday, September 26 at 3:00 pm - 5 pm EST. Register here.

Thursday, September 27 at 3:00 - 5:00 pm EST. Register here.  

During the session, for those who want to provide testimony, you will be asked to provide your name, tribal affiliation, and email when registering for the call. 

Bill Introduced in the U.S. Senate to Help Keep Arizona Communities & Tribes Safe 

Senator Kyrsten Sinema introduced a bipartisan bill that would reauthorize the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhood program. This program brings federal, state, local, and Tribal law enforcement prosecutors, community leaders, and partners together, so they can discuss pressing crime issues. 

In 2021, the Department of Justice awarded $370,000 to the District of Arizona for this program. 

Hearing on Climate Bill to be Held This Coming Week

On Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 11:00 am EDT, a hearing regarding H.R.8802, the Public Lands and Waters Climate Leadership Act of 2022 will be held by the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. 

If passed the bill will require the Secretary of the Interior and the Chief of the Forest Service to align management of public lands and waters with the President’s greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, and for other purposes. Public Lands and Waters Climate Leadership Act of 2022


·Mr. Andrew Dessler,  professor of Atmospheric Sciences Director, Texas Center for Climate Studies; Reta A. Haynes Chair in Geosciences, Texas A&M University

Ms. Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, mayor, Nuiqsut, Alaska

Ms. Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO, Solar Energy Industries Association

Mr. Kenny Stein, policy director, Institute for Energy Research

When: Tuesday, Sept. 20, 11:00 a.m. Eastern time

Watch live



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