indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Big Fire Law and Policy Group
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
NCAI's Hall pushes pro-Indian agenda in speech
Friday, February 4, 2005


STATE OF INDIAN NATIONS: National Congress of American Indians President Tex Hall at the National Press Club in Washington D.C.
Stating that Indian Country is moving in the right direction, the leader of the National Congress of American Indians on Thursday laid out a broad agenda aimed at improving the lives of the first Americans.

In the third annual State of Indian Nations address, NCAI President Tex Hall cited a Harvard University study that showed dramatic gains in the economic well-being of tribal people. Income levels rose by 33 percent in the 1990s and the poverty rate dropped by seven percent, he said.

But Hall, who is also chairman of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota, pointed out there is much to be accomplished. "The glass is only half full," he told the audience at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. "Income average of Indians living on reservations is still less than half of the national average. Indian unemployment is still double the rest of the country."

With that in mind, Hall identified several areas where he said changes are needed. From economic development to housing to trust reform, he called on the United States government to fulfill its responsibilities to American Indians and Alaska Natives, and to ensure tribes continue moving forward.

"If tribes are to continue to be successful, we must have access to all tools that are also available to other governments," he said.

As the Bush administration enters its second term and the 109th Congress moves forward under a greater Republican majority, Hall said NCAI will work with members of both parties to advance a pro-tribal agenda. The proposals included:

• Legislation to clarify that tribes can issue tax-exempt bonds like any other municipal government. Currently, several tribes are facing scrutiny from the IRS for casino and hotel projects the agency says don't meet the "essential government function" standard.

• Reauthorization of the 1996 Telecommunications Act to ensure tribes maintain regulatory authority over telecommunications services on their lands. The Federal Communications Commission, divided along party lines, has given mixed rulings on the matter.

• Amending the Homeland Security Act, first passed in 2002, to treat tribes the same as state and local governments. The change would allow tribes to tap directly into the billions of dollars in homeland security funds.

• Recognition of tribal authority over non-Indians in domestic violence cases, as most crimes against Native women are committed by non-Indians. "Our women are abused at far greater rates than any other group of women in the United States," said Hall. "This is unacceptable and outrageous.

• Continuation of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants at the Department of Justice. Hall said funding for 235 tribal officers will end this year.

• Full funding of tribal courts under the Indian Tribal Justice Act in 1993. The law promises $58.4 million, Hall said, but none has been provided.

• Increased resources for Indian housing programs, which Gary Gordon of the National American Indian Housing Council said were "stagnant" for the past four years.

• More funding for Bureau of Indian Affairs education programs, including construction of new schools, which is flat-lined for the current year.

• Reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, which faltered during the end of last Congressional session.

• Settle the Individual Indian Money (IIM) trust lawsuit and work with tribes to develop a fix for the future. Hall said the recent amendments to the Indian Land Consolidation Act that were signed into law by President Bush were an improvement.

• Passage of an Indian energy bill to help tribes tap into their natural resources. The measure was controversial among tribes during the last session but a compromise was reached. However, the larger energy package has stalled over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Hall, who is in his last year as NCAI president, said tribes will be looking closely at the fiscal year 2006 budget that Bush releases on Monday. "It is a negative trend that we're seeing" in funding for Indian programs, he said during a question and answer period after the speech.

To coincide with the address, NCAI released its own proposed budget yesterday. It covers various agencies and includes specific dollar amounts for key programs.

In an interview with Indianz.Com, Dave Anderson, the outgoing head of the BIA, said he tried to advance many of the same priorities identified in the speech during his year at the agency. "We have schools that are in need, " he said. "We have a growing gang and substance abuse issue. We have unemployment and economic development issues that are not being addressed."

As one of his final actions before departing next week, Anderson hopes to lay the groundwork for a task force with the Harvard American Indian Project on Economic Development, a program at the university's Kennedy School of Government responsible for the economic study cited in the speech. "We would do it in conjunction with the bureau," he said.

Relevant Documents:
State of Indian Nations Address | FY 2006 Tribal Budget Request

Listen to the Speech:
Real Audio | Windows Media

From the Indianz.Com Archive:
State of Indian Nations 2004 | State of Indian Nations 2003

Related Stories:
Congress kicks into gear for 109th session (1/25)
Johnson expects tough times for Indian initiatives (01/18)
Harvard study tracks decade of Indian Country progress (1/10)
Tribal leaders air concerns in meeting with Thune (12/17)
Pombo cites achievements in 108th Congress (12/16)
Big changes in store for 109th Congress (12/14)
Indian advocates urge cooperation in Washington DC (11/05)
Data shows little change in economic status under Bush (08/27)
Bush says housing program he's cutting is 'working' (08/12)
Indian housing funds face cuts in Bush budget (04/14)
Tribes tackle budget woes under Bush administration (4/14)
Budget resolution barely clears House vote (03/26)
Tribal leaders denounce BIA budget plans as reckless (03/24)
BIA education programs taking $79 million hit (3/23)
Indian educators meet for legislative summit (3/22)
Native children living in poor, single-parent homes (03/19)
Cuts run deep for tribal programs at BIA (03/09)
Senate panel shares criticism of Bush budget (02/12)
Tribal leaders pressing Congress on funding (02/11)
BIA programs barely survive White House test (02/10)
BIA budget staying the same under Bush request (2/3)
Report notes 'crisis' facing urban Indian youth (12/04)

Copyright © 2000-2004 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
'It's a pretty monumental step': Tribal farm reclaims land on Winnebago Reservation

Once the Ho-Chunk people had vast lands upon which they planted corn, beans and squash and hunted deer and buffalo. Life changed after forced removal.


Joe Biden at Native American Presidential Forum #NativeVote2020

"If I'm elected president, you'll never have a better friend in the White House than me," Democratic candidate Joe Biden told the Four Directions and Nevada Tribal Nations Native American Presidential Forum.


Native Sun News Today: Keystone XL fight continues into another year

Tribes with treaty rights affected by the Keystone XL Pipeline continue to contest water permits fro the controversial project.


Cronkite News: Native veterans struggle to get health care they were promised

Access to health care has been a challenge for Native American veterans for decades, and they suffer some of the worst health outcomes


Clara Caufield: I'm tired of reading about the bad things in Indian Country

I think we need to remind America that there are many fine, responsible, hard-working and law-abiding tribal citizens in this great country.


'Tribal consultation should come first': Forest Service pushed on gold mining in Black Hills

Under pressure from Native and other community members throughout the past year, the Black Hills National Forest will be taking public comments about gold prospecting in sacred He Sapa.


Native American culture runs deep within the USMA Corps of Cadets

Nearly 7,000 soldiers of American Indian or Alaska Native descent are serving in the U.S. Army. Some got their start at West Point Military Academy.


Montana Free Press: Republicans don't want to settle tribal water rights

Republicans in Montana are once again trying to derail a long-awaited water rights settlement for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.


Ivan Star Comes Out; Respect and understanding of Lakota culture severely lacking

Indigenous people have been subjected to a disparaging existence on the Great Plains and in the He Sapa (Black Hills) for decades.


'We'll fight the good fight': Lawmakers tackle Indigenous issues at state capitol

Two state senators in Nebraska, including the first and only Native lawmaker, are working to create greater awareness of Indigenous issues, culture and history.


Native Sun News Today: Lawsuit filed in fraudulent bond sale scheme

An economic development corporation on the Pine Ridge Reservation is back in the news in connection with some allegedly fraudulent dealings.


Cronkite News: Report shines light on women murdered by men

Native American women are more likely to be murdered by men than white women, according to a report from the Violence Policy Center.


Tule River Tribe continues long push to relocate casino

The Tule River Tribe continues to make strides toward moving its casino to a new location in California.


'When they do turn for help, nobody believes them': Native women hold vigil in honor of Ashlea Aldrich

As authorities investigate the death of Ashlea Aldrich, Native women gathered to discuss the violence that plagues their communities.


VIDEO: Four Directions and Nevada Tribal Nations Native American Presidential Forum

Mark Charles, a citizen of the Navajo Nation, is running for president of the United States.


VIDEO: Salmon in Yurok is nepuy - 'What we eat'

Congress got a lesson in Yurok history and culture at a hearing on Capitol Hill. Watch the video to learn more.


VIDEO: Four Directions and Nevada Tribal Nations Native American Presidential Forum

The Four Directions and Nevada Tribal Nations Native American Presidential Forum 2020 is being held on January 14-15, 2020, on the campus of the University of Nevada Las Vegas.


VIDEO: Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Legislative Hearing

Vice Chairman Frankie Myers of the Yurok Tribe provided testimony on H.R.5448, Fishery Failures: Urgently Needed Disaster Declarations Act.


Indian Country Today: Oklahoma's gaming fight is about people's lives

According to the U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics, about 1,900 Oklahomans earn their living as Class III gaming dealers.


Cronkite News: Trump kept pushing for citizenship question on Census

Even as it was losing the fight to put a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, the Trump administration was running tests about it.


YES! Magazine: Aboriginal knowledge can help with fire management

Cultural burning is proactive, while Western-style controlled burning, also called hazard reduction burning, is reactive.


Lawmakers set to advance more Indian Country legislation after end of year rush

After an end-of-year push that saw Indian Country's legislative agenda gain widespread attention thanks to a presidential tweet, more pro-tribal bills are being teed up for action on Capitol Hill.


AUDIO: Reaching Hard-to-Count Communities in the 2020 Census

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform examines the Census Bureau's strategies and plans for reaching hard-to-count communities -- including American Indian and Alaska Native communities -- in 2020.


Tim Giago: What does the Bible say about ‘lying?’

One lies and the others swear to it. That is the definite MO of the Trump Administration.


Cherokee Nation increases effort to save historical sites in northeast Oklahoma

Across Cherokee Nation are places rich in Cherokee history.


Rep. Markwayne Mullin: General Soleimani was a threat to the American people

Qasem Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of more than 600 U.S. service members in Iraq.


'A Return to Tradition': Red Lake Nation hosts annual health and wellness gathering

The Fourteenth Annual Red Lake Community Wellness Gathering took place at Red Lake Nation College in Minnesota.


'Every time I see it, it pains my heart': Border wall runs through O'odham territory

The Trump administration waived environmental and other regulations on nearly one-quarter of Arizona’s border with Mexico last year to ease the way for border wall construction.


'Bloody Indian': School district sued over teacher's racial comment

A young citizen of the Navajo Nation is suing a public school district and a teacher who allegedly called her a "bloody Indian" in front of the entire class.


'This is one of the most heartbreaking issues': Young Native woman's death tied to domestic violence

Ashlea Aldrich's gruesome death demonstrates the need for swift and aggressive action by tribal leaders, her aunt said.


Forum for Missing and Murdered Diné Relatives set for Arizona

The Missing and Murdered Diné Relatives Working Group is holding its next forum on January 14.


Groundbreaking exhibition features works by Native women

"Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists" is the first museum exhibition exclusively devoted to Native American women artists from the United States and Canada.


Cronkite News: Native students discover roots through language and weaving

Some schools are working to preserve Native American culture by spending classroom time on languages and cultural traditions


Schedule for Native American Presidential Forum in Nevada

At least four candidates will be attending the Four Directions and Nevada Tribal Nations Native American Presidential Forum.


Lakota People's Law Project: Statement on media settlement with #MAGA teen #IPMDC19

The United States is losing moral capital the world over right now at an alarming rate.


Trump administration's push for U.S. uranium production opposed near Grand Canyon

The Hopi Tribe is among the opponents of uranium mining on sacred lands in Arizona.


Death of woman on Omaha Reservation under investigation

Ashlea Aldrich, a young mother, was killed in what her mother said was a crime of domestic violence.


Rep. Tom Cole: Democrats waste an entire year in Congress

While a new year often ushers in hopeful anticipation about what can be achieved over the next 12 months, it’s important to remember that the divided government which shaped 2019 will continue to influence 2020.


Cronkite News: Hopi Tribe and Navajo Nation oppose dam projects

An Arizona company wants to build two massive hydroelectric projects on the Little Colorado River, threatening sacred tribal lands.


YES! Magazine: Pawnee Nation reclaims agricultural traditions

The resilience of food production in the face of a changing climate will depend on both traditional ecological knowledge and Western science.


MSU News: Navajo Code Talkers subject of 'Growing Up with Heroes' lecture

Zonnie Gorman, a historian and daughter of an original Navajo Code Talker, will share her experiences at Montana State University.


Montana Free Press: Farmers get relief as America's trade war simmers

As agricultural commodity prices suffer in President Donald Trump’s multi-fronted trade war, Montana farmers have received at least $114 million in payments in 2019.


Tribes join race for commercial casino in Virginia

Two Indian nations are looking to land a commercial casino in Virginia while a third keeps its options open after recently gaining federal recognition.


Doug George-Kanentiio: Acting Native and surviving

In Australia, that semi-arid land where the sun shines most of the year, the Black Serpent has come to rest.


Albert Bender: Racist regime in Bolivia targets Indigenous people

Looking over the 14-year record of accomplishments of the Indigenous socialist government led by Evo Morales in Bolivia, it becomes apparent why U.S. capitalist interests were chomping at the bit to see its demise.


Cronkite News: Native Americans fight historical discrimination to lower diabetes and obesity rates

Native American adults are 50 percent more likely to be affected by obesity than non-Hispanic whites. They also are twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to have diabetes.


Indigenous song keepers reveal traditional ecological knowledge in music

For Indigenous Peoples who have lived within their traditional territories for generations, music is a repository of ecological knowledge, with songs embedding ancestors’ knowledge, teachings and wisdom.


'We are a family': Youth on Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation ring in 2020

The Cheyenne River Youth Project threw its doors open to reservation youth on New Year’s Eve.


Tim Giago: Curing the problems that seem incurable

I often write that the more things change in Indian Country the more they stay the same.


Chuck Hoskin: Cherokee Nation gives back to our people and our communities

We are blessed at the Cherokee Nation and thankful that we can make positive changes to improve Oklahoma in both large and small ways.


Mark Charles: America's history rooted in colonialism, enslavement and terror

The United States of America needs an honest national dialogue regarding our own history.


Cronkite News: Years of work ahead for decommissioned power plant on reservation

They may have turned out the lights, but the party’s not over at the Navajo Generating Station and its affiliated Kayenta coal mine.


YES! Magazine: Haida Nation blends traditional knowledge with science

A collaboration between Indigenous tradition and Western science may offer a way to bolster both Haida culture and the marine ecosystem intertwined with it.


Tribes sue Oklahoma governor to protect Class III gaming rights

The Cherokee Nation, Chickasaw Nation, the Choctaw Nation are suing the Republican governor of Oklahoma as a gaming impasse enters the new year.


John Berrey: Oklahoma governor threatens tribal economies

The governor’s actions have begun threatening the stability of tribal gaming, and thereby the revenue bases of tribal governments and the countless jobs that provide livelihoods to Oklahomans.

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.