Senate Passes Eight Bipartisan Indian Affairs Bills
Last month, the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs passed eight bills to help promote Tribal economic development, as well as strengthen Tribal Self-Determination. The bills now head to the House for further consideration. Chairman of the Committee Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai’i) issued a statement applauding the bills’ passage.
Schatz said the passage of these bills “shows our commitment ⎯ not only to advancing Native priorities in committee—but also to building bipartisan momentum throughout the Senate to get things done for Native communities.”
Among the legislation passed is S.108, which authorizes the Seminole Tribe of Florida to transfer or lease land. The Committee also passed S.144, the Desert Sage Youth Wellness Center Access Improvement Act and S.314, the Klamath Tribe Judgment Fund Repeal Act.
If passed in the House, S.325 will amend the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act by extending the deadline for a report. S.549 will provide for the transfer of certain property to the Tanana Tribal Council in Tanana, Alaska.
Other bills passed include S.548, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Land Transfer Act of 2021, S.550, the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Land Transfer Act of 2021, and S.559, which will amend the Grand Ronde Reservation Act.
“From promoting economic development on Tribal lands, to protecting Native children, to honoring Tribal self-determination, each of these bills furthers our collective duty to fulfill the federal trust responsibility,” Schatz said. “I look forward to seeing them taken up and passed by the House in short order.”