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Heffelfinger: Tribes need homeland security funds

Tribal governments need direct access to homeland security funds, former U.S. attorney Tom Heffelfinger said in an interview with The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

"When Congress passed the Homeland Security Act in 2002, they categorized Indian tribes at the same level as the city of Minneapolis or Edina," he told the paper. "What it meant was that when Indian tribes wanted Homeland Security money, they had to queue up over at the state with Brooklyn Park or Boise, Idaho."

"That's not how sovereign tribal nations are considered under U.S. law," he added.

Heffelfinger said tribes in Minnesota aren't getting critical funds they need to protect the border with Canada and sensitive facilities. "How can you defend that power plant if the next-door neighbor isn't included in your protection?" he said, referring to the Prairie Island Indian Community, whose reservation is next to a nuclear power plant.

Heffelfinger resigned at the end of February and has joined the law firm of Best & Flanagan. He is attending the upcoming midyear session of the National Congress of American Indians in Sault St. Marie, Michigan, from June 18-21.

Get the Story:
Border patrol still a concern for former U.S. prosecutor (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 6/9)

Relevant Links:
Best & Flanagan -

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