Through Native News Online Staff
At the end of the month, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland will lead the first of several discussions with tribes on the implementation of the infrastructure bill, the Interior Department announced.
In a Jan. 31 consultation, Haaland, who co-chairs the White House Council on Native American Affairs (WHCNAA), will ask tribal leaders to advise the council on how each nation wants the $13 billion earmarked. in the bipartisan bill dedicated to improving roads, expanding broadband access and funding sanitation, water rights and environmental rehabilitation projects in their specific area.
The session will also focus on President Biden Executive Order on Improving Public Safety and Criminal Justice for Native Americans and Addressing the Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples, according to the Interior press release.
“As we work to address public safety and criminal justice issues affecting Indigenous peoples or the implementation of the landmark bipartisan Infrastructure Act, I am proud to bring together tribal leaders and government officials to investing more in our relationship of trust,” Haaland said in a statement.
From Jan. 26-28, Haaland is also expected to hold separate listening sessions with tribal leaders asking them to “offer comments and provide feedback” on the early program planning decision under the Jan. 26 bill. to January 28. These programs include:
- tribal climate resilience programs;
- Water infrastructure and drought resilience programs;
- Indian investments in the settlement of water rights;
- forest fire resilience programs;
- ecosystem restoration programs;
- Legacy pollution programs; and
- US Geological Survey Infrastructure Law Programs.
Tribes may additionally submit written comments via email to [email protected] by February 4. To find out more, visit https://www.bia.gov/whcnaa.
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