Note: Video feed from the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will begin shortly before 2:30pm Eastern.
First round of Indian Country bills slated to advance in new Congress
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Indianz.Com

On Clubhouse: Indianz.Com Listening Room [Audio Only]

The 117th Congress began in January but it’s been slow moving for Indian Country’s legislative agenda.

Following lengthy negotiations among Democrats and Republicans, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs finally got off the ground last month. The panel is now slated to advance its first slate of legislation at a business meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

Nine bills are on the agenda for the meeting. All were previously considered during the prior session of Congress so the committee is looking to move them forward in the U.S. Senate as quickly as possible.

The agenda follows:

S.325, A bill to amend the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act to extend the deadline for a report by the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children, and for other purposes. The commission is named on honor of the late Alyce Spotted Bear, who was an educator and leader from the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, and the late Walter Soboleff, who was a Tlingit scholar, elder and religious leader. The deadline for the commission’s report will be extended by 2 years under the bill.

S.314, A bill to repeal the Klamath Tribe Judgment Fund Act. The Klamath Tribes, headquartered in Oregon, are seeking to repeal a termination-era law that affects their trust funds and trust assets.

S.144, A bill to authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Director of the Indian Health Service, to acquire private land to facilitate access to the Desert Sage Youth Wellness Center in Hemet, California. During the Trump administration, the IHS testified in support of a prior version of the bill.

S.371, the Blackwater Trading Post Land Conveyance Act. The bill places land in trust in Arizona for the Gila River Indian Community. The tribe has described the land as culturally and environmentally significant.

S.108, A bill to authorize the Seminole Tribe to lease or transfer certain land in Florida without undermining exiting rights under federal law.

S.548, A bill to convey land in Anchorage, Alaska, to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. The land will be used to help provide health services to Alaska Natives.

S.549, A bill to provide for the conveyance of certain property to the Tanana Tribal Council located in Tanana, Alaska. The land will be used for a future health clinic, a family wellness center and an after care treatment facility.

S.550, A bill to provide for the conveyance of certain property to the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium located in Sitka, Alaska. The land will be used to improve health services to Alaska Natives.

S.559, A bill to amend the Grand Ronde Reservation Act. The bill addresses lands held in trust in Oregon for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

klamathtribesrestorationcelebration
Dancers at a Klamath Tribes restoration celebration in Oregon. The Klamath Tribes were restored to federal recognition in 1986 after being terminated by Congress in 1954. Photo: jmerriam7

The business meeting takes place at 2:30pm Eastern and will be immediately followed by a roundtable on climate change in Native communities. Both will be broadcast on indian.senate.gov.

Members of Clubhouse can also join a listening room hosted by Indianz.Com in the afternoon. Anyone seeking an invite to the audio-based platform can send a direct message to @indianz on Twitter or to indianzcom on Facebook.

The Clubhouse app is currently limited to Apple devices. A phone number is required to join but users are not required to share their contacts with the platform until they invite others.

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Notice
Business Meeting to consider S. 325, S. 314, S. 144, S. 371, S. 108, S. 548, S. 549, S. 550, & S. 559 and Roundtable on “Native Communities and the Climate Crisis” (March 10, 2021)