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Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association. Tribal Interior Budget Conference Fiscal Year 2014 Washington, D.C. March 27-28, 2012. FY 2014 Tribal Budget Interior Conference. Tribal Representatives Tex Hall, Chairman, Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota
Tribal Interior Budget Conference Fiscal Year 2014
March 27-28, 2012
Tex Hall, Chairman, Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota
Rodney Bordeaux, President, Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota
Robert Shepherd, Chairman Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate’
Regional Office Representatives
Bruce W. Maytubby, Sr., Acting Regional Director
Alice Harwood, Deputy Regional Director-Indian Services
Lisa Davis, Regional Budget Officer
Treaties define our unique relationship with the Federal Government and predate the Constitution of the US. Treaties are recognized under the United States Constitution, Article VI; and shall be the Supreme Law of the land.
All interests of the Great Plains Region should be protected; the best insurance for the Great Plain Region long term survival is to have full funding to maintain healthy, productive, safe, knowledgeable environments so the tribal citizens of the Great Plains Region can be full partners in the American Economy.
Therefore, funding appropriated and distributed for services to Tribes and their members is based on the fact the United States Government has a fiduciary trust responsibility under the treaties to protect tribal/Indian property, land, rights and resources. Today’s Government funding cynically masks the fact that the United States is just providing uncertain erratic handouts; these funds should not be viewed as entitlements or discretionary; they should be protected and guaranteed quid pro quo treaty benefits.
The Great Plains treaty tribes are opposed to ranking and prioritizing programs in Indian Country. All programs are basic life critical necessities that historically have never been 100% funded. All TPA programs are a priority and essential to the overall livelihood of the tribal members and the operation of the Great Plains tribal governments. However, as the budget process requires a program prioritization this requirement has been met.
It is indicative that the 2012 and proposed 2013 budget cuts will impact future budgets. As it stands, the President’s commitment to Indian Country and the Bureau’s Mission Statement are not supported in any previous budgets and to support further budget cuts in the proposed 2013 budget is sending the wrong message to Indian Country.
BIA programs are being decreased or eliminated based on the assumption that other federal departments or agencies are fulfilling those roles or responsibilities to tribes and their membership. Tribal access to those funds becomes limited because of the lack of communication from other federal and/or state agencies. The Great Plains tribes have consistently objected to the reorganizing of line authority and funding away from BIA.
Home Improvement Program
-Many houses are dilapidated and have black mold creating health issues.
-The Tribal leadership has stated that the reservations have turned into “trailer house grave yards”.
-The waiting list at the Indian Housing Authorities are long, with 5 plus years and no guarantee of housing placement.
-The housing need is great, but it is impossible to capture an accurate count as many will not come forward to be counted. For example, many are homeless or are in fear of being evicted from their home due to the fact that “unauthorized” family members are residing with them in homes governed by stringent federal guidelines.
The protection of land and natural resources is critical to maintaining the Great Plains tribal land base. The Region has one of the largest land bases in Indian Country and the most fractionated interests. Limited funding resources have not allowed the BIA to fulfill it’s trust obligation in protecting and enhancing these resources for the 1.7 million land owner and tribal interests.
This funding provides financial assistance for American Indians and Alaska Natives who do not meet eligibility criteria for other State or County services. Emergency assistance within this category is often times not provided by other Federal sources such as FEMA or the American Red Cross for natural disasters or other emergency situations.
General Assistance provides monetary grants to eligible clients. Of the 167,000 service population, eligible clients are provided an average sole source income of $218 per month.
Child Assistance provides for the care of abandoned or neglected children placed in foster homes, private or group or residential homes designed to provide special care. Approximately 2,134 children have been placed in special care.
The Indigent Burial Program provides burial grants to eligible members. burial. The average cost of a funeral nationally is $7,200. A total of $1,076,143 was funded for 2011 for Great Plains.
Emergency Assistance is provided directly to individuals who suffered extensive loss to homes and personal property due to fire, flood or other calamities and is used for essential needs of food, shelter and utilities. In 2011, $53,057 was expended to provide assistance to 198 victims at an average of $268.
638 contracts and direct funding, not DOJ grants are the preferred method of funding for Tribes in our Region to receive funding for a specific purpose. The grant system is short in duration; will not provide funding for existing purposes and places the burden on the Tribe to utilize its general fund or other sources to continue services that were funded through grants.
The Road Maintenance funding provides for tribes and agencies to maintain reservation roads and bridges in a safe and efficient manner as defined by the Service Level Index. The funding has been decreased or diminished and has resulted in an erosion of base funding for this program under the current funding formula. It is difficult for Tribes to supplement for any new repairs or construction.
The tribes are in full support of President Obama’s Strengthening Tribal Nations Initiatives, particularly Advancing Nation-to-Nation Relationships. This initiative is geared toward strengthening the capacity of Tribes to manage the Federal programs they contract, as well as eliminate the need for Tribes to use program funds to fulfill administrative requirements.
President Obama’s Strengthening Tribal Nations Initiatives, particularly Advancing Nation-to-Nation Relationships, is a good concept but not reflected across the board.
BIE-Elementary/Secondary Programs-ISEP Formula Funds $10,858,000
BIE-Elementary/Secondary Programs-Student Transportation $ 4,212,000
BIE-Elementary/Secondary Programs-Facility Maintenance $ 2,254,000
BIE-Elementary/Secondary Programs-Facility Operations $ 6,737,000
BIE-Elementary/Secondary Programs-Tribal Grant Support Costs $ 4,627,000
Sub-Total additional need for nearly 49,000 children $28,688,000
Less requested decrease $17,965,000
Total requested increase for FY 13 $10,723,000
5. Eliminate the following Administrative Provisions language to allow current schools to expand grade level offerings and allow tribes to apply to operate a Grant School:
6. Allow additional appropriations for Tribal Grant Support Costs: