Department of the Interior Announces Final Federal Recognition Process to Acknowledge Indian Tribes

department of interior press release      Date: June 29, 2015
Contacts: Jessica Kershaw (DOI),
Nedra Darling (ASIA), 202-219-4152

Initiative Reforms a Process Long Criticized as “Broken,” Increases Transparency in Important Review of Tribal Recognition Status

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today released a final rule to reform the regulatory process by which the Department of the Interior officially recognizes Indian tribes. The updated rule promotes a more transparent, timely and consistent process that is flexible enough to account for the unique histories of tribal communities, while maintaining the rigor and integrity of the criteria that have been in place for nearly 40 years.

“Since the beginning of President Obama’s Administration, the Department has worked with tribal and government leaders on improving the federal acknowledgment process, which has been criticized as inconsistent, slow and expensive,” Secretary Jewell said. “This Administration takes very seriously its important trust and treaty responsibilities to Native Americans and Alaska Natives. This updated process for important tribal recognition makes good on a promise to clarify, expedite and honor a meaningful process for federal acknowledgement to our First Americans.”

“This updated rule is the product of extraordinary input from tribal leaders, states, local governments and the public,” said Assistant Secretary Washburn. “We have a responsibility to recognize those tribes that have maintained their identity and self-governance despite previous federal policies expressly aimed at destroying tribes. This new process remains rigorous, but it promotes timely decision-making through expedited processes and increases transparency by posting all publically available petition materials online so that stakeholders are well-informed at each stage of the process. Many of these improvements came from public comments by stakeholders and we are grateful for their guidance.”

To maintain the substantive rigor and integrity of the current regulatory process (described in Part 83, Title 25 – Code of Federal Regulations), the final rule carries forward the current standard of proof and seven mandatory criteria that petitioners must meet to substantiate their claim to tribal identification, community and political authority. To promote fairness and consistent implementation, the new process provides that prior decisions, which found evidence or methodology sufficient to satisfy a particular criterion for a previous petitioner, are sufficient to satisfy that criterion for a present petitioner. The final rule further promotes consistent application by establishing a uniform evaluation period of more than a century, from 1900 to the present, to satisfy the seven mandatory criteria.

Key features of the final rule promote transparency by: 

  • Increasing public access to petition documents for Federal Acknowledgment;
  • Expanding distribution of notices of petitions to include local governments; and
  • Increasing due process by providing for an administrative judge to conduct a comprehensive hearing and issue a recommended decision for proposed negative findings.

In a separate action, Assistant Secretary Washburn issued a policy statement explaining that the Department intends to rely on the newly reformed Part 83 process as the sole administrative avenue for acknowledgment as a tribe as long as the new rule is in effect and being implemented.

To build public trust in the Federal Acknowledgement process, the Department has been working to reform the Part 83 process since the beginning of the Obama Administration. At that time in 2009, Interior initiated its own review. In 2012, the Department identified guiding principles of the reform effort. In recognition of the high level of interest, the Department used a transparent rulemaking approach and significant outreach effort. Before beginning the formal rulemaking initiative, Interior issued a discussion draft in 2013 to facilitate public input on how to improve the process.

Through the discussion draft and ensuing tribal consultations and public meetings, the Department obtained substantial feedback. In total, more than 2,800 commenters provided input on the discussion draft. The Department issued a proposed rule in May of 2014 and extended the public comment period on that proposal in response to requests from tribes, state and local governments, members of Congress and the public. In total, more than 330 unique comments were submitted on the proposed rule. The final rule reflects substantial changes to the discussion draft and the proposed rule in response to public comments.

Federal acknowledgment establishes the U.S. Government as the trustee for Tribal lands and resources and makes Tribal members and governments eligible for federal budget assistance and program services. Since 1978, of the 566 federally recognized tribes, 17 have been recognized through the Part 83 process under Title 25 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Procedures for Establishing that an American Indian Group Exists as an Indian Tribe. The Department has denied acknowledgment to 34 other petitioning groups.

Though far more tribes have been recognized through Executive or Congressional action, the Part 83 process is an important mechanism because it allows deliberative consideration of petitions by a staff of federal experts in anthropology, genealogy and history and ultimately allows for a decision by the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs. When petitioning groups that meet the criteria are officially “acknowledged” as Indian tribes, the U.S. Government accepts trusteeship of Tribal lands and natural resources. Tribal governments and members then become eligible to receive federal health, education, housing and other program and technical assistance.

The final rule and other information is online

Approval given for gambling compacts with New Mexico tribes


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Gambling compacts negotiated by the state and a handful of American Indian tribes have cleared their final hurdle.

The U.S. Interior Department reviewed the compacts but took no action. Under federal law, the agreements are considered approved by the agency as long as they’re consistent with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

The assistant secretary for Indian Affairs, Kevin Washburn, spelled out some concerns the department had with the compacts in a four-page letter sent Tuesday to Gov. Susana Martinez and tribal leaders.

Washburn pointed to an apparent increase in revenue sharing rates for some tribes, but he acknowledged that the agreements had the support of the tribes.

Under the compacts, the Navajo Nation, Jicarilla and Mescalero Apache nations and three pueblos can operate casinos for another two decades.

Assistant Secretary Washburn Announces New Initiative to Hire More American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans to Work for Indian Affairs

Source: Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the heels of President Obama’s historic visit yesterday to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North and South Dakota, Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced the implementation of a new initiative to hire more American Indian and Alaska Native veterans to work for Indian Affairs.

In building a 21st century workforce, we recognize the importance of attracting and retaining veterans in this organization,” said Assistant Secretary Washburn. “Individuals who have served in the Armed Forces have a proven track record for integrity, discipline and leadership, and are highly qualified candidates in a variety of occupations throughout Indian Affairs.”

To achieve the goal of hiring more American Indian and Alaska Native veterans throughout Indian Affairs offices and bureaus, Washburn announced plans to increase the number of Indian veterans hired from the current rate of 9 percent to 12.5 percent.

Indian Affairs bureaus, regional offices and agencies provide a wide range of direct services to American Indian and Alaska Natives and already utilize an Indian Preference policy in hiring. Nearly 100 percent of the positions in the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Education are staffed with American Indian and Alaska Native employees through Indian Preference. Indian Affairs officials are interested in hiring veterans prior to their discharge from the Armed Forces and are actively seeking members of the National Guard and reserves who are looking for careers that serve Indian Country.

Steps that will be taken to achieve the new initiative include:

  • Increasing participation in job fairs targeting veterans;
  • Establishing a presence on the website to highlight success stories of veterans already working in Indian Affairs;
  • Utilizing social media such as Facebook and Twitter to promote accomplishments of veterans in Indian Affairs and alert prospects of the availability of open positions;
  • Leveraging resources with other DOI agencies that have been successful in recruiting veterans to develop new strategies for attracting veterans to employment opportunities within Indian Affairs;
  • Working with local veterans groups, especially Native American veterans groups, in the field to publish employment opportunities with Indian Affairs;
  • Using the website to highlight positions of interest to veterans that will utilize their skills gained in military service; and
  • Developing a Senior Executive Service (SES) performance element targeting increases in veteran hires in positions within Indian Affairs offices and bureaus.

For more information about the DOI Indian Affairs’ hire the American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans Initiative, please visit our website at or call:

Nancy Nelson, Human Resources Specialist, Indian Affairs Office of Human Capital Management, at (202) 208-6175.

The Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs assists and supports the Secretary of the Interior in fulfilling the United States’ trust responsibility to the federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes, villages and individual trust beneficiaries. The Office of Human Capital Management (OHCM) oversees human resources management, policy and operations for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Indian Educationand the Assistant Secretary  Indian Affairs. The Office of Human Capital Management reports to the Deputy Assistant Secretary Indian Affairs – Management within the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs.

Indian affairs receives 1.2 increase in fiscal 2015 budget request

By Ryan McDermott, Fierce Government

washburn_aaaBureau of Indian Affairs programs would receive a 1.2 percent increase over this year’s enacted amount under the White House budget proposal for the next fiscal year.

The budget request totals $2.6 billion for Indian Affairs – $33.6 million more than fiscal 2014 enacted, said Interior Department Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn during a Senate Indian Affairs Committee Wednesday hearing.


Tribal self-determination and self-governance programs have eclipsed direct service by the Indian Affairs Bureau at DOI, Washburn said.

More than 62 percent of the appropriations are provided directly to tribes and tribal organizations through grants, contracts and compacts for tribes to operate government programs and schools, Washburn said.


But committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) said the budget request isn’t enough.


“Every line item is deficient,” Tester said. “1.2 percent is not right. This needs some work.”


He said the percentage increase for Indian Affairs pale in comparison to increases at other part of the DOI. The National Park Service request is for 22.2 percent more than this year and the Land Management Bureau request is 6.1 percent more.


But Washburn argued that Indian Affairs budgets under Obama have been larger in the last five years than another other parts of the DOI. The BIE budget request for fiscal 2015 makes up $2.6 billion of the agency’s $11 million total request.


Other parts of the DOI might see a larger percentage increase under the request, Washburn said, but they make up much smaller parts of the agency so the comparison is apple to oranges.


For more:
go to the hearing page (webcast and prepared tstimony available)


Indian Affairs Chairman: Education Key For Tribes

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, center, dances around a drum circle with students at the Head Start early education center in Crow Agency, Mont., on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. Tester is the new chairman of the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee and says he'll use his new role as chairman to target wasteful spending, improve educational opportunities and promote job development on reservations. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)
U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, center, dances around a drum circle with students at the Head Start early education center in Crow Agency, Mont., on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. Tester is the new chairman of the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee and says he’ll use his new role as chairman to target wasteful spending, improve educational opportunities and promote job development on reservations. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

By Matthew Brown, Associated Press, 2/19/2014

CROW AGENCY, Mont. (AP) — The new chairman of the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee said Wednesday he plans to use the post to target wasteful spending, improve educational opportunities for Native Americans and promote job development on reservations.

Montana Sen. Jon Tester outlined his agenda for the committee that oversees relations with the nation’s 566 recognized tribes during a visit to the Crow Indian Reservation with fellow Democrat Sen. John Walsh.

After a breakfast meeting with tribal leaders, the pair toured a Head Start education center and later danced with preschoolers around a drum circle.

Crow leaders showed the lawmakers cracks in the ceiling at the preschool and took them to the furnace room where a boiler dating to the 1960s was held together with vise grips to keep it running.

Tester said he was determined to address decades of dysfunction in how the government deals with tribes. He said excessive administrative costs incurred by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service and other agencies have drained money from crucial programs including health care and education.

“This is about making sure those dollars that are allocated go to the intended purpose. If there’s waste, eliminate it. And if it means eliminating jobs, then eliminate the jobs,” he said.

Brian Cladoosby, president of the National Congress of American Indians, said problems with the government’s treatment of tribes stem largely from outdated laws and regulations that make Native Americans subservient to federal agencies.

That started to change in recent years — with rules giving tribes more power over their land and property — but further improvements are needed, Cladoosby said.

Tester said too many bureaucratic roadblocks hinder tribes’ attempts to become self-reliant, such as the Crow tribe’s efforts to expand coal mining on the southeastern Montana reservation.

However, Tester added that he would tread carefully to avoid infringing on the sovereignty of West Coast tribes opposed to coal export terminals in Washington and Oregon.

The proposed terminals are key to the coal industry’s aspirations to ship more of the fuel overseas from the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming, in part to make up for flagging domestic demand. Tribes on the West Coast have raised concerns about potential environmental impacts of the shipping.

“I cannot go in and tell another tribe that we’re going to respect the Crow’s sovereignty but we’re not going to respect your sovereignty,” Tester said. “That’s a very dangerous position to put yourself in.”

Despite limits on what the senator can deliver for his home state, Crow leaders said they were pleased to have someone familiar with their concerns assume the influential post of committee chairman.

Crow Secretary A.J. Not Afraid said tribes in Montana and elsewhere on the Great Plains have different needs than tribes in other parts of the country that are closer to population centers and able to bring in significant revenue through gambling.

Those opportunities don’t exist for the Crow, Not Afraid said.

Crow Chairman Darrin Old Coyote said Tester understands the differences.

“He gets it,” Old Coyote said. “He understands our plight and what we’re fighting fo

Washburn Finalizes Administration’s Patchak Patch

kevin-washburn-e1344068978989By Rob Capriccioso, Indian Country Today Media Network

Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn announced November 12 a finalized rule that aims to resolve some problems created for tribes by a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, which said that a litigant can sue for up to six years after the U.S. Department of the Interior takes lands into trust for tribes.

The court ruled in June 2012 in Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians v. Patchak that the law does not bar Administrative Procedure Act challenges to the Department of the Interior’s determination to take land in trust even after the United States acquires title to the property, unless the aggrieved party asserts an ownership interest in the land as the basis for the challenge. In the case at hand, it allowed a lawsuit to go forward challenging a tribal casino in Michigan from opening, despite the suit being filed three years after Interior took land into trust for the tribe. More broadly, it left the door open for costly lawsuits years after tribal projects, including casinos, housing and healthcare facilities, have broken ground.

RELATED: Supremes Support Lawsuit Against Interior’s Land-into-Trust Authority

The new rule partially addresses the issues by ending a 30-day waiting period Interior established in 1996 for the assistant secretary to take land into trust for tribes wanting to develop casinos on such land. That so-called “self-stay policy” was meant to give parties a heads up in case they wanted to file suit. The rule clarifies that the assistant secretary’s decision is final, and it allows the assistant secretary to take the land into trust with no waiting period. Lawsuits, though, are still a possibility.

“The reason for staying is just not so compelling anymore,” Washburn told Indian Country Today Media Network in May when he proposed the rule that has now been finalized. “Our argument is that people can still bring their action if they want to after we’ve taken the land into trust—at least that’s what Patchak says.”

RELATED: Washburn Announces Plan of Attack for Patchak Patch

The new rule also includes a 30-day appeal period for Bureau of Indian Affairs land-into-trust decisions that do not involve casinos. If parties do not file an appeal within 30 days before the Interior Board of Indian Appeals, then they will lose the right to do so ever.

“If they don’t appeal, then they are out of luck,” Washburn told ICTMN in May. “Kind of like when the minister says, ‘Speak now or forever hold your peace.’”

“If an appeal isn’t filed in 30 days, it’s golden—the land is in trust, and it’s secure [for tribes],” Washburn added.

Washburn previously admitted that there are shortfalls for tribes here because, under the rule, Interior will be providing wider notice of its decision to acquire land. He said the benefit of the rule outweighs that risk: “If people have concerns, we need to get them out of the bushes and get them to raise their concerns within 30 days—not wait 5 years and 11 months,” he said.

He predicted that critics of the administration’s tribal land-into-trust policies, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), will appreciate that the policy codifies that parties in opposition will be contacted by Interior. “I think that’s a change that she will appreciate,” he said.

An Interior press release said the new rule “demonstrates the Obama Administration’s continuing commitment to restoring tribal homelands and furthering economic development on Indian reservations.”

Beyond the administration, tribal advocates have been asking Congress to pass a true “Patchak patch” that would say that once the United States takes land into trust for tribes, the decision is completely immune from lawsuits whether the lands are intended for casinos or other uses.

“But we can’t wait for Congress to do that,” Washburn said in May. “We don’t know if they will. We certainly would support such legislation, but, in the meantime, we have to figure out how we protect tribes now.”

According to the Department, 38 tribes and tribal organizations commented on the proposed rule before it was finalized, while 16 from state, county, or local governments and organizations representing such governments commented and 12 members of the public, including individuals, advocacy groups and other organizations commented. Most tribal commenters were supportive of the rule, although there were some tribal objections, while most state, county, or local governments and organizations and members of the public were opposed to the rule.

Michael Anderson, an Indian affairs lawyer with Anderson Indian Law, said the new rule is a positive one for tribes.

“This is a good development and could shorten the current six-year statute of limits under the Administrative Procedure Act to challenge Interior land-into-trust decisions,” Anderson said.

The final rule is online here.



President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Indian Affairs Budget Focuses on Strengthening and Supporting Tribal Nations

Request supports Indian Affairs’ mission to serve federally recognized tribes and individual Indian trust beneficiaries

Source: U.S. Department of the Interior

WASHINGTON – President Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget request for Indian Affairs, which includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), is $2.6 billion – a $31.3 million increase above the FY 2012 enacted level. The proposed budget maintains the President’s commitment to meeting the government’s responsibilities to the 566 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes, while exercising fiscal responsibility and improving government operations and efficiency.

“The President’s budget request for Indian Affairs reflects his firm commitment to keeping our focus on strengthening and supporting tribal nations, and protecting Indian Country,” said Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn. “While realizing the benefits from improvements to Indian Affairs program management, the request supports our mission to federally recognized tribes, particularly in the areas of trust lands and natural resource protection. The request also promotes economic development, improves education, and strengthens law enforcement and justice administration.”

Strengthening Tribal Nations Initiative

The Strengthening Tribal Nations Initiative is a comprehensive, multi-year effort to advance the President’s commitments to American Indians and Alaska Natives to improve conditions throughout Indian Country and foster economic opportunities on Indian reservations.

The FY 2014 budget request includes $120 million in increases for this initiative to support sustainable stewardship and development of natural resources in Indian Country, public safety programs that apply lessons learned from successful law enforcement pilot programs, operations at new and expanded detention facilities, contract support costs to facilitate tribal self- governance, and new and expanded payments for water rights settlements. Additionally, it

provides increased funding for post-secondary education and an elementary and secondary school pilot program based on the U.S. Department of Education’s turnaround schools model and concepts.

Advancing Nation-to-Nation Relationships

The FY 2014 budget request for Contract Support Costs is $231 million – a $9.8 million increase over the FY 2012 enacted level. The Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975, as amended, allows federally recognized tribes to operate federally funded programs themselves under contract with the United States – an expression of the federal government’s policy to support tribal self-determination and self-governance. Tribes rely on contract support costs funds to pay the costs of administering and managing contracted programs. It is a top priority for many tribes.

In light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter, the FY 2014 budget request includes the Administration’s proposed interim solution to budgeting contract support costs. The Administration proposes Congress appropriate contract support costs on a contract by contract basis and will provide Congress with a contract funding table for incorporation into the Department’s FY 2014 appropriations legislation. Through tribal consultation, this interim step will lead to a long-term solution that will result in a simpler and more streamlined contract support costs process.

Protecting Indian Country

The FY 2014 budget request for BIA Public Safety and Justice programs is $363.4 million with targeted increases over the 2012 enacted level of $5.5 million for Law Enforcement Operations, $13.4 million for Detention Center Operations and $1.0 million for Tribal Courts.

The request also includes a $3.0 million programmatic increase in BIA Human Services to address domestic violence in tribal communities. A partnership between BIA Human Services and Law Enforcement will address the needs at tribal locations with high levels of domestic violence. The initiative will improve teamwork between law enforcement and social services to more rapidly address instances of domestic violence, and expand services that help stem domestic violence in Indian Country and care for its victims.

The FY 2014 budget request for Law Enforcement Operations is $199.7 million, a $5.5 million programmatic increase over the FY 2012 enacted level. The increased funding for Criminal Investigations and Police Services will enable the BIA to hire additional bureau and tribal law enforcement personnel. The request includes $96.9 million for Detention Center Operations, a program increase of $13.4 million over the FY 2012 enacted level. The additional funding for staffing, training and equipment will strengthen BIA and tribal capacity to operate existing and newly constructed detention facilities.

The request also includes $24.4 million for Tribal Courts, an increase of $1.0 million above the 2012 enacted level. The funding will be used for judges, prosecutors, public defenders, court

clerks, probation officers, juvenile officers, and support staff, as well as for training and related operations and administrative costs for tribal justice systems and Courts of Indian Offenses.

The FY 2014 budget request also supports the BIA’s successful pilot program, launched in 2010, that carries out the President’s Priority Goal of reducing violent crimes by at least five percent within 24 months on four initial reservations. The targeted, intense community safety program successfully reduced violent crime by an average of 35 percent across the four reservations. In 2012, the program was extended to two additional reservations. After a year, the two new sites have experienced an increase in reported crime – a trend similar to that seen at the initial four sites. The BIA will continue to support the efforts of all six programs in 2014 with funding, technical assistance, monitoring and feedback.

Improving Trust Land Management

Taking land into trust is one of the most important functions the Department undertakes on behalf of federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes, whose homelands are essential to their peoples’ health, safety and economic well-being. The BIA’s trust programs assist tribes and individual Indian landowners in the management, development and protection of trust lands and natural resource assets totaling about 55 million surface acres and 57 million acres of subsurface mineral estates.

In 2012 and 2013, the Department undertook the most substantial overhaul of the federal fee-to- trust process in over half a century. In 2012, Interior placed 37,971 acres of land into trust on behalf of tribes and individual Indians and approved 299 fee-to-trust applications. Over the past four years, Indian Affairs has processed more than 1,000 separate applications and acquired over 196,600 acres of land in trust.

The FY 2014 budget request for the Trust – Natural Resources Management program, which assists tribes in managing, developing and protecting their trust lands and natural resources, is $189.2 million, a programmatic increase of $34.4 million over the FY 2012 enacted level. The increases support sustainable stewardship and development of natural resources and will support resource management and decision making in the areas of energy and minerals, climate, oceans, water, rights protection, and endangered and invasive species.

The FY 2014 budget request for Trust – Real Estate Services is $128.9 million, a programmatic increase of $7.7 million increase over the FY 2012 enacted level. This program carries out the BIA’s trust services, probate, and land titles and records functions, as well incorporates the Department’s trust reform improvement efforts. The request proposes a $5.5 million increase to fund authorized activities related to the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement at $7.0 million and provides $1.5 million for litigation support for Indian natural resource trust assets management.

Advancing Indian Education

The FY 2014 budget request for the Bureau of Indian Education of $802.8 million, a program increase of $6.7 million above the FY 2012 enacted level, advances the Department’s continuing

commitment to the education of American Indians and Alaska Natives from the federally recognized tribes. The Advancing Indian Education initiative addresses the full spectrum of educational needs throughout Indian Country from elementary through post secondary levels and adult education. The 2014 budget supports student academic achievement in BIE schools by initiating a $15.0 million pilot program to turnaround lower performing elementary and secondary schools, provides $2.5 million in increased funding to meet the needs of growing enrollment at tribal colleges, and provides $3.0 million in new funding for a Science Post- Graduate Scholarship Fund. The budget also proposes an additional $2.0 million for tribal grant support costs.

Achieving Better Results at a Lower Cost

Administrative Cost Savings Over the last few years, Indian Affairs has taken significant steps to reduce the administrative costs associated with the wide range of services it delivers. In addition to $7.1 million in cost-saving measures from information technology standardization and infrastructure consolidations, the FY 2014 budget request includes a reduction of $19.7 million to reflect anticipated cost savings from streamlining operations. The request also includes $13.8 million in savings from reductions to contracts, fleet management, awards, and travel.

Indian Arts and Crafts Board The budget proposes to transfer the $1.3 million funding for the IACB from the Office of the Secretary to Indian Affairs, thereby allowing Indian Affairs to oversee the implementation of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990, as amended, which contains both criminal and civil provisions to combat counterfeit activity in the American Indian and Alaska Native arts and crafts market, and the Board’s management of three museums in the Plains Region dedicated to the promotion, integrity and preservation of authentic American Indian art and culture.

Program Reductions and Eliminations:

  • Housing Improvement Program (-$12.6 million) Eliminates the HIP. Tribes are not precluded from using HUD funding to provide assistance to HIP applicants.
  • Law Enforcement Special Initiatives (-$2.6 million) Reflects decreased participation on collaborative activities such as intelligence sharing.
  • The Indian Student Equalization Program (ISEP) (-$16.5 million) Offsets $15.0 million for a turnaround school pilot program.
  • Replacement School Construction (-$17.8 million) The construction program will address improving physical conditions of existing school facilities through the Facilities Improvement and Repair program.
  • The Indian Guaranteed Loan Program (-$2.1 million) The funding level of $5.0 million will guarantee over $70 million in loans.

    Indian Affairs’ responsibility to the federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes is rooted in Article I, Section 8, of the United States Constitution, as well as in treaties, executive orders, and federal law. It is responsible for the management, development and protection of Indian trust land and natural resources, providing for public safety and justice in Indian Country, and promoting tribal self-determination and self-governance. Through the

Bureau of Indian Education, it funds 183 elementary and secondary day and boarding schools, of which two-thirds are tribally operated, located on 64 reservations in 23 states and serving in School Year 2011-2012 a daily average attendance of 41,000 students. It also provides funding to 27 tribal colleges and universities and two tribal technical colleges, operates two post- secondary institutions of higher learning and provides higher education scholarships.