indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Dynamic Homes
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Cuts run deep for tribal programs at BIA
Tuesday, March 9, 2004

When White House aide Jennifer Farley spoke to tribal leaders recently, she sought to address a common complaint about the Bureau of Indian Affairs budget.

"BIA was not cut to fund Indian trust reform," Farley said.

The message wasn't received well, and not just because Farley was suffering from laryngitis that day. A review of the BIA's 2005 funding request shows numerous cuts to Indian programs on the reservation level to make up for a significant boost in trust reform.

"I am healthy and very passionate," Ed Thomas, president of the Tlingit-Haida Tribe of Alaska would tell new BIA head Dave Anderson later that day. "But I am not happy."

Anderson met with tribal leaders in Phoenix, Arizona, last week as part of an ongoing dialogue over future BIA budgets. But the concerns raised could have applied to the situation today.

"We can't talk rhetoric, but we need follow through from the BIA and the Department of Interior," Navajo Nation president Joe Shirley Jr. said at the meeting. "There are billions of dollars going off the United States. When is there going to be funding to meet Navajoland?"

Copies of the BIA's "green book" were distributed last week to tribal leaders. The document details, for the first time since the budget was announced last month, the reductions in the BIA's social service, education, welfare, tribal and other programs.

Overall, the budget seeks $2.25 billion for the BIA, a reduction of $52.0 million, or 2.3 percent. This is the first time since the mid-1980s that the agency serving more than 550 tribes and more than 1 million American Indians and Alaska Natives is seeing a cut.

Some of the more significant reductions occur in the tribal priority allocation (TPA) account. TPA funds are particularly important because they are used by tribes to carry out day-to-day government functions.

Under the TPA item, there is a $278,000 cut in human services, a $394,000 cut in education, a $334,000 cut in contract support costs, a $498,000 cut in forestry services, and a $748,000 cut in trust services. And while the overall TPA request is $4.9 million above the current level, it is offset by a nearly $11 million transfer to the Office of Special Trustee (OST) for appraisal services.

The slash in the human services account affects three major reservation-level programs: the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), welfare assistance and the housing improvement program (HIP). The green book contains no justification of why these programs are being cut.

The education cut is achieved by slashing scholarships for Indian students at post-secondary institutions. The reduction means tribes will only able to award 1,100 scholarships, down from 1,250 for the current year. The Bush administration has been reducing this item since taking office in 2001.

Despite receiving an "adequate" rating by the White House, one of the better ratings for the BIA, forestry services is the only natural resource program seeing a reduction in funds. The BIA, however, still says it will meet its goal of helping tribes harvest timber, manage forests and develop management plans.

The largest cut, though, comes to the construction account. In 2005, replacement of BIA schools, which are the worst in the nation, will be reduced by $61.0 million. Repair and improvement of other facilities will be cut by nearly $9 million.

Officials justify the drop by saying all the projects on the BIA's priority list have been funded through 2004. Anderson recently added 14 new schools to the list.

The BIA's losses contrast with the gains at OST, which Congress created in 1994 to oversee trust reform. But tribal leaders say OST is going beyond Congress' intent by implementing reform.

Based on OST's green book, the agency will receive $322.7 million next year, an increase of $113.7 million, or 54 percent. Other appropriations raise OST's budget to nearly $724 million, according to the justification.

In meetings with tribal leaders, administration officials say they understand the needs of Indian Country. But tribal leaders say the message isn't getting to the source.

"The president's budget is really where the rubber hits the road," said Thomas.

DOI FY2005 Budget:
Fiscal Year 2005 Budget in Brief | Unified Trust Budget | Serving Tribal Communities | BIA Highlights | Departmental Offices [for Office of Special Trustee]

Related Stories:
Senate panel shares criticism of Bush budget (02/12)
Tribal leaders pressing Congress on funding (02/11)
BIA programs barely survive White House test (02/10)
Fate of Indian preference in hands of Swimmer (02/04)
BIA budget staying the same under Bush request (2/3)

Copyright 2000-2004 Indianz.Com
More headlines...

Latest Headlines:

Tribes in for long haul as oil continues to flow through Dakota Access
Mark Trahant: Don't plan on getting sick if you're from Indian Country
Tiffany Midge: I shall joke as long as the grass grows and the rivers flow
Director of Office of Indian Energy deletes offensive Twitter account
States cheer decision on grizzly bears amid tribal concerns about hunts
Washington asks high court to overturn Yakama Nation treaty victory
New York Times editorial board reconsiders stance on racist trademarks
Colville Tribes remove council member a week before citizens go to polls
Marijuana firm promises big investments with help of ex-Seminole chair
Lumbee Tribe ordered to release voter list to opponents of chairman
National Indian Gaming Association chooses David Bean as vice chair
Eastern Cherokee citizen promoted to vice president of casino marketing
Tribes in Connecticut waiting on governor to sign bill for new casino
Secretary Zinke removes protections for grizzlies over tribal objections
Court sets final deadline for remaining payments from Cobell settlement
Mary Annette Pember: Indian Child Welfare Act strengthens our families
Peter d'Errico: Navajo authors offer fresh perspective on sovereignty
Native woman was jailed and forced to ride with assailant during trial
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe challenges new permit for uranium operation
Montana tribes get new member of Congress who pleaded to assault
Connecticut tribes welcome court decision favoring new casino law
Pueblo tribes dispute state's demand for $40M in gaming revenues
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe remains confident of approval of casino
Nooksack Tribe accepting slot tickets while casino remains closed
Key House committee under fire for moving slowly on tribal agenda
Tribes go it alone on climate change as Trump team shifts priorities
Bryan Newland: President Trump's budget threatens tribal treaties
Steve Russell: The GI Bill changed the United States for the better
Harold Monteau: Democrats lack proactive agenda, proactive strategy
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe orders 20 non-citizens to leave reservation
Wilton Rancheria accused of working too closely with city on casino
Witness list for hearing on bill to reform the Indian Health Service
Arne Vainio: What does the princess want to be when she grows up?
Doug George-Kanentiio: 'Spirit Game' brings Iroquois lacrosse to life
Cronkite News: Navajo activist vows fight against racist NFL mascot
Eric Hannel: Addressing the health care crisis among Native Americans
Bill for tribal regalia at graduation ceremonies advances in California
Ramapough Lunaape Nation wins reversal of ruling on prayer camp
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe still waits on casino ruling from Trump team
Another former leader of Winnebago Tribe pleads in gaming theft case
Supreme Court ruling poses hurdle for opponents of racist NFL mascot
Change the Mascot campaign responds to negative Supreme Court ruling
Secretary Zinke set for another hearing on Interior Department budget
Mark Trahant: Republicans write health reform bill behind closed doors
Jeff Grubbe: Agua Caliente Band focuses on protecting our groundwater
Steven Newcomb: Asserting our traditions in the era of Donald Trump
Shasta Dazen: 'Family Spirit' program incorporates our tribal traditions
Secretary Zinke shuffles top Indian Affairs officials at Interior Department
Choctaw Nation travels to Ireland to dedicate 'Kindred Spirits' sculpture
Nooksack Tribe closes doors to casino after being hit with federal order
Muscogee Nation asserts authority at allotment where casino was proposed
Mark Trahant: Dakota Access decision offers a chance to return to respect
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe hails 'victory' in Dakota Access Pipeline case
Nooksack Tribe told to close casino amid leadership and citizenship feud
Kristi Noem: Enough is enough - It's time to fix the Indian Health Service
Second hearing scheduled on bill to reform the Indian Health Service
Trump nominee for appeals court seen as favorable to tribal interests
>>> more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.