Don Young: Bill moves federal Indian policy in right direction

"As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs, I oversee most issues concerning Native Americans. Throughout my career, I have worked tirelessly to empower and improve the lives of America’s Native peoples, which is why I take umbrage with the cover of the March 28, 2012 edition of This Week From Indian Country Today. It referred to legislation I have introduced, the American Indian Empowerment Act of 2011 (H.R. 3532), as “The Great Land Rush,” a term that misrepresents my intent and, quite frankly, comes across as an inflammatory attempt to stir up opposition to the bill. In addition, the article states that “DOI [Department of the Interior] officials are lining up against [H.R. 3532].”

All along, I have maintained that this legislation is a starting point for a discussion on where federal Indian policy should go in order to increase tribal self-governance. It is not yet in its final form. The only way to construct a federal Indian policy that moves towards eliminating the federal government and letting tribes make decisions governing their lands, is by working with the tribes themselves. This effort requires gathering input – something I, along with my staff have been doing since I became Chairman."

Get the Story:
Rep. Don Young: The American Indian Empowerment Act: Setting the Record Straight (Indian Country Today 3/30)

Related Stories:
Witness List: House subcommittee hearing on Indian land bill (02/06)
Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs hearing (1/30)

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