Colville Tribes push for passage of Indian Trust Asset Reform Act

Billy Nicholson serves as secretary of the Colville Business Council. Photo from Colville Tribes

The Colville Tribes of Washington are lobbying for passage of the Indian Trust Asset Reform Act.

The House passed H.R.812 by a voice vote on February 24. Secretary Billy Nicholson said the tribe will work to ensure action in the Senate.

"The Act establishes a demonstration project that will authorize tribes to direct the management of trust assets under tribal standards rather than to be obliged to follow often out-of-date federal standards," Nicholson wrote in The Tribal Tribune, the tribe's newspaper. "Another benefit is the Act will speed up the federal appraisal process for tribes and individuals."

Indianz.Com SoundCloud: House Debate on H.R.812, the Indian Trust Asset Reform Act

The bill makes changes to trust management duties at the Interior Department by encouraging more tribal self-determination over their trust funds and trust assets. It establishes an Under Secretary for Indian Affairs to oversee all Indian programs at DOI and, more significantly, lays the groundwork to return the functions of the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Passage of H.R.812 would mark the first major trust reform bill to clear Congress in more than 20 years.

Get the Story:
Council Corner: Nicholson discusses HR 812, 181-D upcoming (The Tribal Tribune 3/3)

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