Bill Would Address Underfunded Native Programs

Published: Friday, August 16, 2019 - 12:47pm
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The Navajo Treaty was signed in 1868 by the federal government and the Navajo to free the prisoners of the Long Walk from Bosque Redondo.

Federal lawmakers proposed a bill Friday to address broken treaty promises to tribal nations. The legislation is a response to last year's report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that revealed chronic underfunding of federal programs designed to support tribes.

More than a century ago, tribes signed agreements with the federal government that promised housing, education, health care, public safety and self-determination in exchange for land.

The report points out the federal government has repeatedly failed to honor these trust and treaty obligations.

Before introducing the bill, Congresswoman Deb Haaland and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren have asked tribes for feedback. They want tribal members and leaders to help them figure out how best to achieve budget transparency, increase tribal representation in the Executive Branch, require timely consultation with federal programs and improve self governance among Native Nations.

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