President Jefferson Keel of the National Congress of American Indians addresses the organization's executive council winter session in Washington, D.C., on February 13, 2019. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

House Committee on Appropriations welcomes Indian Country leaders to Washington

By Acee Agoyo

The House Committee on Appropriations will be hearing from dozens of Indian Country leaders next week as they seek funding to fulfill the federal government's trust and treaty responsibilities.

Representatives of tribal nations, Indian organizations and urban Indian providers from across the country are testifying before the House Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. Four sessions have been set aside on March 6 and March 7 for the lawmakers who write the bill that funds just about every Indian Country program.

"Every member of Congress and the administration has a duty to faithfully execute the government’s legally mandated trust and treaty responsibilities to tribal nations, no matter who voted for them on Election Day," National Congress of American Indians President Jefferson Keel said during the 17th annual State of Indian Nations last month in Washington, D.C.

Keel is among those testifying at the hearings, which are taking place even though President Donald Trump failed to submit a fiscal year 2020 budget request despite being required to do so by law. The deadline came and went on February 5 with no word from his administration.

Despite the lapse, Congress still has to write the appropriations bill that funds the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service and the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians. The agencies fall under the jurisdiction of the Interior subcommittee.

Next week's hearing take place in Room 2007 of the Rayburn House Office Building in D.C. All four sessions are being webcast, with witnesses lists and links below.

Wednesday, March 6, AM Hearing
• Notice: Public Witness Hearing — Tribal Programs: Day 1, Morning Session
• Webcast:

Dr. Shaquita Bell
Chair, American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Native American Child Health

Kevin R. DuPuis Sr.
Chairman, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Abigail Echo-Hawk
Director, Urban Indian Health Institute

Roberty Flying Hawk
Chairman, Yankton Sioux Tribe

Melanie Fourkiller
Senior Policy Analyst, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Harold Frazier
Chairman, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

Dr. Donna Galbreath
Medical Director of Quality Assurance, Southcentral Foundation

Dylan Jennings
Council Member, Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa

Andrew C. Joseph
Chairman, Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board

Victoria Kicheyan
Tribal Council Member, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

Victoria Kitcheyan
Acting Chairperson, National Indian Health Board

Dr. Mark LeBeau
Chief Executive Officer, California Rural Indian Health Board

Esther Lucero
Chief Executive Officer, Seattle Indian Health Board

Dr. Monica Mayer
Councilwoman, Mandan Hidatsa and Arikara Nation

Robert Miguel
Chairman, Ak-Chin Indian Community

Tony Reider
Chairman, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe

Maureen Rosette
President, National Council of Urban Indian Health

Teresa Sanchez
Board Member, Riverside San-Bernardino County Indian Health Board, Inc.

Sonya Tetnowski
Chief Executive Officer, Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley

Wednesday, March 6, PM Hearing
• Notice: Public Witness Hearing — Tribal Programs: Day 1, Afternoon Session
• Webcast:

W. Ron Allen
Tribal Chairman & CEO, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe

W. Ron Allen
Commissioner, U.S. Section of the Pacific Salmon Commission

Douglas Cox
Chairman, Menominee Indian Tribe

Ted Howard
Chairman, Shoshone Paiute Tribe of Nevada

Michael J. "Mic" Isham Jr.
Executive Administrator, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission

Joe James
Chairman, Yurok Tribal Council

Edward Johnstone
Treasurer, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

Edward Manuel
Chairman, Tohono O'odham Nation

Rodney Mike
Chairman, Duckwater Shoshone Tribe

Ray Peters
Intergovernmental Affairs Liaison, Squaxin Island Tribe

Jaime Pinkham
Executive Director, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission

Rhonda Pitka
Commissioner, Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments

Patty Brown Schwalenberg
Executive Director, Chugach Regional Resources Commission

Thursday, March 7, AM Hearing
• Notice: Public Witness Hearing — Tribal Programs: Day 2, Morning Session
• Webcast:

Angelique Albert
Executive Director, American Indian Graduate Center

David Z. Bean
Vice Chairman, Puyallup Tribe

Julian Bear Runner
President, Oglala Sioux Tribe

Carrie L. Billy
President, American Indian Higher Education Consortium

Rodney Bordeaux
President, Rosebud Sioux Tribe

Ervin Carlson
President, InterTribal Buffalo Council

Maulian Dana
Ambassador, Penobscot Nation

Valerie J. Grussing Ph.D.
Executive Director, National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers

Genevieve Jackson
President, Dine Biolta School Board Association

Jefferson Keel
President, National Congress of American Indians

Cheryle A. Kennedy
Chairwoman, The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon

Charlene Nelson
Chairperson, Shoalwater Bay Tribe

Bryan Newland
President, Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority

Jonathan Nez
President, Navajo Nation

Timothy Nuvangyaoma
Chairman, Hopi Tribe

Rick Peterson
Chairman, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Terry Rambler
Chairman, San Carlos Apache Tribe

Ella Robertson
Chairwoman, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate

Fawp Sharp
President, Quinault Indian Nation

Vernon Stearns
President, Intertribal Timber Council

Joseph Wildcat Sr.
President, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

Thursday, March 7, PM Hearing
• Notice: Public Witness Hearing — Tribal Programs: Day 2, Afternoon Session
• Webcast:

Floyd G. Azure
Chairman, Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Reservation

Robert Black Jr.
Executive Director, Navajo Hopi Land Commission Office

Faye BlueEyes
Dine Grant Schools Association

Beverly J. Coho
Board Member, Ramah Navajo School Board, Inc.

Diana Cournoyer
Interim Executive Director, National Indian Education Association (NIEA)

Luke Duncan
Chairman, Ute Indian Tribe

William Harris
Chief, Catawba Indian Nation

Aurene Martin
Board Member, National Indian Child Welfare Association

Leander "Russ" McDonald
President, United Tribes Technical College

Jennifer McLeod
Board Member, Association of Community Tribal School Inc

Aaron Payment
Chairperson, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

Aaron Payment
Tribal Interior Budget Council

Jason Schlender
Vice Chairman, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

Darrell Seki Sr.
Tribal Chairman, Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians

Ira Taken Alive
Vice Chairman, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Shannon F. Wheeler
Tribal Executive Committee, Nez Perce Tribe

House Committee on Appropriations Notices
Public Witness Hearing — Tribal Programs: Day 1, Morning Session (March 6, 2019)
Public Witness Hearing — Tribal Programs: Day 1, Afternoon Session (March 6, 2019)
Public Witness Hearing — Tribal Programs: Day 2, Morning Session (March 7, 2019)
Public Witness Hearing — Tribal Programs: Day 2, Afternoon Session (March 6, 2019)

Indian Country in DC

Two days on Capitol Hill, more than 80 tribal leaders. Listen to the four tribal program hearings from 2018 here.

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