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Friday, January 6, 2017

New NV Senator Catherine Cortez Masto ADDED to Senate Indian Affairs Committee

The leadership of the committee has changed, the membership is largely staying the same. In a sign of the slight shift in power in the Senate, Democrats are gaining another seat on the committee, for a total of seven. It will be taken by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, a new member of Congress from Nevada.
Catherine Cortez Masto

New Senate Indian Affairs Committee Vice Chair UDALL concerned about culture and tradition

 "The U.S. Senate has a duty to support tribal communities in their work to build sustainable economies and good schools, provide quality health care, maintain access to clean air and water, and protect the deep Native American connection to culture and tradition," 
Udall added. "Native Americans have faced, and continue to face, great challenges and injustices – and while we have made progress, it is abundantly clear that we have much work to do to improve government-to-government consultation with tribes and to ensure environmental justice."

Hoeven and Udall have big shoes to fill. Under the leadership of Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana), the committee convened an impressive number of hearings, meetings and listening sessions, during the 114th Congress, which ended in December. The panel also passed a slew of bills, a number of which were signed into law,

“I look forward to working closely with them both, and with all the committee members, to pass legislation that will empower tribal communities and will strengthen the government-to-government relationship the United States shares with tribes," said Barrasso, the prior chair.

Tester, the prior vice chair, added: “I am confident that during this session of Congress the Senate Indian Affairs Committee will continue its long history of working across the aisle to promote tribal sovereignty and strengthen economic opportunities, health care and education for all Native American and Alaska Native families.”


2 comments:

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

Tester, the prior vice chair, added: “I am confident that during this session of Congress the Senate Indian Affairs Committee will continue its long history of working across the aisle to promote tribal sovereignty and strengthen economic opportunities, health care and education for all Native American and Alaska Native families.”

Unless of course corrupt tribal leaders disenroll those families, in which case the federal government will deny them benefits, destroy their economic opportunities, refuse them education assistance, and force them to prove their blood degree before giving them access to Indian Health Services.

Can anyone tell me why tribal leaders get to tell the federal government who gets to receive benefits and participate in programs? It is not the tribe's money. It is tax money that is earmarked to assist Native Americans. This collusion between the BIA and tribal leaders to destroy individual Indians is a form of genocide. They are intentionally killing off Indians by taking their names off of membership rolls. According to their definition, Indians who aren't members of a federally recognized tribe are not Indians.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee refuses to discuss the harmful effects of disenrollment. The BIA helps tribes disenroll. The Courts dismiss cases brought against tribal leaders for disenrollment because they say Santa Clara Pueblos v. Martinez protects disenrollment actions.

The Indians are left out in the cold and abuse is heaped on them by tribal members who pretend the disenrollees don't belong because it means there is more money to divide among the members. The BIA has long pursued a policy of termination of tribes, and helping reduce Indians is as good a way as any. The Courts don't recognize the rights of Indians and routinely disregard allegations of civil rights violations. Congress pretends that tribal leaders are tribes and that individual Indians have no vested interest in the land, assets, and resources of a tribe. Somehow those interests only exist at a collective level despite individual land allotments.

I can only shake my hand in amazement as I describe this circuitous reasoning that is designed to harm innocent people. Disenrollees do not violate any laws at any level. They aren't even accused of wrongdoing, of presenting imminent danger, of infringing on tribal jurisdictions or rights. They are just eliminated without recourse.

Then tribal leaders are given carte blanche to operate gaming establishments, embezzle revenue, divert assets, mismanage tribal affairs, undermine the tribe's democratic process, violate their oaths of office, trample on the rights of the members, rewrite laws to usurp power from the general membership, and to live high-flying lifestyles on their ill-gotten gain.

You can show proof of the privates jets, mansions, lavish parties and vacations, luxury vehicles, favoritism in awarding benefits, falsification of financial documents, rigging of elections, and it doesn't make any difference. The leaders get deference; the individual Indians get trashed.

I guess it is the American Way. As long as Congress keeps on working to help Indians, we are guaranteed that there will be fewer Indians in the future. It appears to be the agenda of the federal government and the tribal leaders seem to be on the same page.

Anonymous said...

Now how many Indians does that make on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee? Just asking...I know the answer.