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MPR: Tribes ready for 'devastating' cuts with sequestration





Tribes across the country face another round of cuts with the sequestration of the federal budget:
Automatic federal budget cuts ordered this spring were problematic in parts of Minnesota. On the White Earth reservation, they were devastating.

More than half of the White Earth tribal government budget, about $30 million, is federal funding. Reservation leaders are planning for a 5 percent budget cut this year and expecting a 9 percent cut next year if the cuts continue, Tribal Chairwoman Erma Vizenor said.

"It is devastating to us and it's not going to be for one or two years," she added. "It's going to go on probably 10 years until that federal budget is balanced."

Even as the National Congress of Indians readies a September lobbying push in Washington, D.C., White Earth officials are planning for a worst case spending scenario. The automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration, are already hitting schools, and more programs face cuts this fall. Many tribal governments get most of their funding from federal programs, so they will see across the board cuts in tribal services.

Get the Story:
Tribes expect 'devastating' sequester cuts (Minnesota Public Radio 8/28)