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House subcommittee sets hearing on facilities in Indian Country
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Indianz.Com

The House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States is getting back to work this week.

The subcommittee has scheduled a hearing on Thursday to examine facilities in Indian Country. The focus comes as Congress and the Biden administration negotiate an infrastructure package that could help address backlogs in maintenance, repair and replacement of schools, roads and other facilities in American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities.

“It is my hope that the enacted infrastructure relief will be bi-partisan and provide an equitable distribution to tribes in honor of the treaty and trust obligation,” Chairperson Aaron Payment of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians said in an opinion published on Indianz.Com. “The proportionate share in the infrastructure bill for tribes based on our population should be at least $40 billion.”

House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States: Infrastructure in Indigenous Communities: Priorities for American Jobs Plan – April 21, 2021

The subcommittee previously took up infrastructure issues at a hearing on April 21. Testimony focused on physical, as well as technological, needs in Native communities.

“We know we have tremendous untapped potential on our reservation given our vast land base, abundant natural resources, and the strength of our people,” President Kevin Killer of the Oglala Sioux Tribe said in written testimony. “A modernized infrastructure would help realize this potential, expand our economy, and revitalize local opportunities for our people.”

“As a tribal government, we strive daily towards these objectives,” Killer said of his community in South Dakota. “But we will never meaningfully succeed without the necessary infrastructure. A robust roads system is a key part of this effort.”

The hearing is taking place virtually at 12pm Eastern on Thursday. A witness list for has not yet been posted online.

The subcommittee is chaired by Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-New Mexico), a new member of Congress. It is part of the larger House Committee on Natural Resources.

Note: Thumbnail photo of solar panels on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota by Juliana Clifford

House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States Notice
Examining Federal Facilities in Indian Country (June 17, 2021)

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