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Old 08-07-2005, 01:21 AM   #1
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Democrats Set Policy For Indian Country

************************************************** ************
This Message Is Reprinted Under The Fair Use
Doctrine Of International Copyright Law:
_http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html_
(http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html)
************************************************** ************

FROM: INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY NEWSPAPER

_http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096411359_
(http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096411359)

Democrats Set Policy For Indian Country

(javascript:EmailWindow();) Posted: August 05, 2005 by: _David Melmer_
(http://www.indiancountry.com/author.cfm?id=29) / Indian Country Today
WASHINGTON - Senate Democrats conferred with more than 150 tribal leaders
for nearly six months to come up with policy recommendations on Indian
country issues.

The senators and tribal leaders touched on most subjects that affect Indian
country: justice, housing, trust reform, land and natural resources,
education, economic development, and more.

''Senate Democrats initiated this process because we wanted to hear directly
from Indian country about the issues of greatest concern,'' said Sen. Byron
Dorgan, D-N.D.

The list of priorities were developed last fall through discussions among
Senate Democrats and tribal leaders at the first-ever Senate Democratic Native
American Forum. Increased funding and more hearings were familiar
recommendations.

The top five priorities and their accompanying policy recommendations will
be turned into legislative initiatives in Congress, Dorgan said.

Trust reform

The number one priority was found to be the need to reform the trust
process. The report stated: ''Congress should clarify the manner in which it carries
out the fiduciary duties owed to Indian tribes and individual Indians.'' It
also said the United States should work to improve its spotty record as
trustee of lands, resources and funds, and consult with tribes on decisions that
impact their land and natural resources.

Education

A recommendation was made to amend the No Child Left Behind Act to address
problems unique to Indian country, such as its implementation and the
development of a culturally based education curriculum. It was recommended that
Congress recognize tribal authority and sovereignty, and mandate and authorize
funding to study the value and importance of culturally specific education
programs.

The Adequate Yearly Progress requirements should be amended, the group
stated, to account for issues specific to communities and to include individual
progress.

At the higher grades, American Indian schools frequently report low
attendance rates. NCLB requires attendance be considered when determining the AYP; it
does not authorize any consideration for cultural teaching methods or
conditions unique to American Indian schools.

The senators and tribal leaders set action steps for the Senate. Joint
hearings on Indian country's education challenges under NCLB are to be held, and
assurance given that any bill addressing education issues will address
culturally appropriate American Indian education needs.

Justice

Congress should provide funding to support a sufficient number of tribal
police officers in American Indian communities and make sure the offices have
adequate equipment for safety and communication and establish databases for
relevant information. It is necessary to fund construction, repair for
detention facilities, the group stated.

To that end, the steps taken by Congress may include more funding for the
tribal Community Oriented Policing Services program and extension of the
program beyond the five year period.

Funding for facility maintenance and construction was also recommended.

Homeland security is a heavily discussed topic among tribal officials. The
Senate and tribal leaders group recommended the recognition of sovereign
status with a correction in the definitions in the Homeland Security Act of 2002.
American Indian tribes should be considered separate and distinct from local
governments so that federal first responder funding would go directly to the
tribes.

Health care

The federal government is failing in its obligation to provide adequate
health care in Indian country. The per capita health care spending for the
general population is $5,000 per year; federal prisoners receive nearly $4,000 per
year in health care. For Indian country, that annual per capita spending is
$2,000.

A substantial increase in health care funding for the IHS to meet the
federal government's responsibility of health care for American Indians and Alaska
Natives was recommended. Elimination of the shortfall should be a commitment
of the federal government over the next 10 years.

A flexible grant program to supplement existing preventive care funded by
the IHS was recommended to promote and prevent disease.

Administration of health care programs should be more flexible so the tribes
can provide for the health care needs of the community and to enhance
representation on Department of Health and Human Services work groups and
committees.

The Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1973
authorized tribes to manage all or some of their health care through contracts. Only
50 percent of the IHS budget is administered by tribes.

Housing and infrastructure

One of the largest inadequacies in Indian country is housing. At present
200,000 housing units are needed immediately. It is estimated that 90,000
American Indian families are homeless or underhoused. Nearly 15 percent of all
homes are overcrowded, compared with 6 percent for the general population; and 12
percent of American Indians lack adequate plumbing, compared to 1 percent of
the general population.

The group recommended that Congress support increased funding and enactment
of legislation that would improve federal housing programs. Also, the Senate
should take an active role to ensure that the Department of Housing and
Urban Development fully implements the existing consultation policy. Expansion of
the homebuyer education programs, streamlining of the BIA mortgage approval
and title process were also recommended.

Safe water and waste systems are problematic on some reservations. An
estimated 35 percent of homes in some areas lack adequate, safe water and waste
systems. The group recommended Congress increase funding to the IHS, the
Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture to provide
management and building of tribal systems.

Economic development is a much-repeated subject on many reservations, where
high unemployment and lack of work skills is prevalent. Congress is
encouraged to create parity in the tax code and support existing business assistance
programs with a proven track record in Indian country. The Community
Development Financial Institution Program, the Tribal Business Information Center and
the Financial Literacy Program were cited as needing additional funding.
Also, the Section 8(a) minority-owned small business program and any other small
and disadvantaged business program should receive attention from Congress
and additional funding.

''This body of work represents months of collaborative effort by many
leaders from across Indian country. On behalf of the Democratic Caucus, I want to
express my gratitude for this work which will inform our efforts in the 109th
Congress and beyond,'' Dorgan said.
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Old 08-09-2005, 12:26 PM   #2
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What stops our tribal leaders from asking other countries for money, help, etc.?
Another country could help fund the casino's or what not and benefit from the profits, rather than Americans.
What stops the Tribal leaders from creating Treaties with other countries? It is our land, right? Why not kick America out and invite someone else in that will allow us to govern and control ALL our land?
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Old 08-09-2005, 02:31 PM   #3
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YOu know.. you could try doing some research on the web... the iroquois hold treaties with france and england as well as america.. and the money to start up the seneca niagara was loaned from an asian country.. can't remember which one in particular. Why are you asking these questions for indians as a whole? Why not go ask YOUR tribal leaders these questions?
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Old 08-09-2005, 10:10 PM   #4
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I am. Just met with three of them today.

Blackbear - are you saying I should be greedy and selfish and only think of my tribe? What about all the other indigenous peoples? Just let them continue to live in poverty and despair?
I am Native and cannot be so selfish. I must think of all indigenous people.

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Old 08-10-2005, 03:26 PM   #5
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No I'm saying you sound like you are accusing all native leaders and representatives of not doing some kind of job you think they should, when in fact you don't even know what treaties and relationships other nations have with foriegn nations. Ask your nation first these why questions. Some of ours have already...not to mention you guys might already have and you just dont' know it. Also.. I'm not exactly what you would call a patriot, but I don't like all this Anti-American sentiment you seem to be throwing out here lately. If I were a vet I'd probably chew you a new one!
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Old 08-21-2005, 12:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackbear
No I'm saying you sound like you are accusing all native leaders and representatives of not doing some kind of job you think they should, when in fact you don't even know what treaties and relationships other nations have with foriegn nations. Ask your nation first these why questions. Some of ours have already...not to mention you guys might already have and you just dont' know it. Also.. I'm not exactly what you would call a patriot, but I don't like all this Anti-American sentiment you seem to be throwing out here lately. If I were a vet I'd probably chew you a new one!
I am not anti-american as I know that the 'laws' were stolen from the indigenous peoples. Iroquois Confederacy?
I am against the genocide of my people that is occuring right now.
Why don't you do some simple math and figure out how old the good old U.S.A. is anyways.
How old is your reservation?
Mine is only 126 years old.
Check out Ghandi, one thousand years of British rule and Ghandi got them out.
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Old 08-22-2005, 05:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mia Gahdus
I am not anti-american as I know that the 'laws' were stolen from the indigenous peoples. Iroquois Confederacy?
I am against the genocide of my people that is occuring right now.
Why don't you do some simple math and figure out how old the good old U.S.A. is anyways.
How old is your reservation?
Mine is only 126 years old.
Check out Ghandi, one thousand years of British rule and Ghandi got them out.
Good for Ghandi... I know quite a bit of american history as well as my tribes'.. and our reservation was'nt formed until after the revolutionary war. Oh well there was this one reservation in NC but I don't believe my ancestors spent much time there, and I believe mine migrated to NY from Neoheroka itself not later down the road like some of the others. But that's not here or there... but I am not sure what you are getting at then. Are you saying the native nation's leaders should plea to foreign countries to be ally's to make the USA or Canda uphold treaties and right the wrongs done to us daily?
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