Policy Brief – October 24, 2023

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Policy Brief – October 24, 2023

Home 9 Policy Briefing 9 Policy Brief – October 24, 2023

Policy Brief Summary

The House remains without a speaker.   

Notes from a Senate Banking Committee Congressional Hearing feature testimony from two Native-serving Community Financial Development Institutions. 

Looking ahead to this week, Senate Budget Committee holds a hearing over climate change impacts on supply chains.  

BIA recently announced a virtual public meeting on Nov. 6, 2023, about the implementation of the PROGRESS Act; additionally, BIA will hold two consultations on Contract Support Costs.  

In Tribal news: USDA collaborates with Native CDFIs to increase housing on Tribal lands; Tribal scholarships and fellowships announced; and new position aims to provide greater Native American student support at the University of Arkansas. 

Congressional updates   

Looking back:  

Hearing: Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development – October 17, 2023 

Topic: How Community Development Financial Institutions Promote Housing and Economic Opportunity 


  • Midwest MN CDFI’s President noted the challenge of high costs for capital investments on trust land, but lower appraisal on projects once completed.  
  • Oweesta Corporation’s President called for increased annual appropriations for CDFIs and to make New Markets Tax Credits permanent, with specific rural and Native allocations. 
  • Oweesta have also extended $45 million in agricultural lending. 
  • Senator Tina Smith (MN) asked about the challenges facing Tribes and Native CDFIs in getting funds out through the USDA Pilot Project for Home Ownership on Native Lands.  

Looking ahead: 

Hearing: Senate Budget Committee – October 25, 2023 @ 10 a.m. EST  

Topic: Bottlenecks and Backlogs: How Climate Change Threatens Supply Chains 


  • Dr. Scott Kelly – Head of Environmental Analytics Resilience  
  • Dr. David Barker – Partner, Barker Companies  
  • Dr. Adam Rose – Research Professor Sol Price School of Public Policy, and Senior Research Fellow Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Threats and Emergencies, University of Southern California  
  • Mr. Robert McNally – President, Rapidan Energy Group  
  • Ms. Kathy Fulton – Executive Director, American Logistics Aid Network 

Executive branch and federal agency actions: 

No new information

 Agency: DOI Bureau of Indian Affairs 

Action: Notice of virtual public meeting on November 6, 2023 

Why it matters: This will be the ninth public meeting on the Practical Reforms and Other Goals to Reinforce the Effectiveness of Self-Governance and Self-Determination for Indian Tribes Act of 2019 (PROGRESS Act). The PROGRESS Act Negotiated Rulemaking Committee develops proposed regulations for the DOI Secretary’s implementation. The meeting agenda includes topics such as priority setting, drafting subcommittee assignments, and subcommittee reports. The meeting beings at 1 p.m. EST. Beyond this meeting, comments are due by December 7, 2023. 

Posted: Week of October 23, 2023

Agency: USDA Food and Nutrition Service 

Action: Notice re Employment and Training Opportunities in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; Comments due by December 19, 2023 

Why it matters: Approximately 25% of Native American households receive SNAP benefits; this statistic is higher in some rural Tribal communities. This proposed change pertains to a requirement to provide case management services to SNAP and SNAP E&T participants and the merging of some FNA (Food and Nutrition Act of 2008) and SNAP regulations into existing collection activities. These provisions include the notification to inform Able-bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWD) about work requirements and time limits.  

Posted: Week of October 23, 2023

Agency: USDA Rural Development  

Action: Final Rule and Response to Comments re Special Authority to Enable Funding of Broadband and Smart Utility Facilities; Effective October 12, 2023 

Why it matters: In September 2020, a final rule was published regarding the special authorization through Section 6210 of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 to assist rural families and small businesses gain access to broadband services through 10% of the funding received to construct broadband infrastructure. Eight respondents provided feedback about concerns such as delay in loan processing due to the evaluation of the 10% rule. USDA pub

Posted: Week of October 23, 2023

Agency: USDA Risk Management Agency  

Action: Submission for OMB Review: Comment Request by November 3, 2023 

Why it matters: The Risk Management Agency is looking for feedback whether the data elements (e.g., acreage and yields) they require farmers to provide when applying for Area Risk Protection Insurance (ARPI) are necessary for the: (1) proper performance of the functions of the agency; (2) accuracy of the agency’s estimate of burden; and (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of information collected.  

Posted: Week of October 9, 2023

Tribal Consultation/Listening Sessions:   

Title of Event: Bureau of Indian Affairs – Contract Support Costs (CSC) for Tribes with Self-Governance Funding Arrangements 

About: BIA would like to determine how to compensate Self-Governance Tribes for CSC when they are not required to submit budgets. 

Date and Time: Wednesday, Nov. 1 @1:30-3 p.m. PST 

Location: Pechanga Resort Casino 45000 Pechanga Pkwy. Temecula, CA 92592  

Date and Time: Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023 @1-4 p.m.  Alaska  

Location: BIA Providers Conference Dena’ina Center, 600 W 7th Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501  

Title of Event: Bureau of Indian Affairs – Agricultural Leasing Regulations 

About: DOI revising its agricultural leasing regulations found at 25 CFR Part 162 Subpart B, which promotes Tribal self-determination through management of Indian agricultural and related renewable resources that match Tribal goals in conservation, multiple use, and sustained yield. These regulations will address leases of agricultural land suited or used to produce crops, livestock, or other agricultural products. 

Date and Time: Session 1, Nov. 13 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. CST 

Location: Osage Casino Hotel – Tulsa, Walnut Room, 951 West 36th St. N., Tulsa, ok 74127 

Date and Time: Session 2, Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. CST 

Location: Online only – register here. 

Date and Time: Session 3, Nov. 17 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. CST 

Location: Holiday Inn Bismarck, Missouri Room, 3903 State St, Bismarck, ND 58503  

Court Decisions:   

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit 

Nw. Band of the Shoshone Nation v. Wooten, No. 22-35140, 2023 WL 6823177, at *3 (9th Cir. Oct. 17, 2023)  

The Court of Appeals held that 1868 Treaty of Fort Bridger between the United States and several bands of the Shoshone and Bannock Tribes did not condition the Tribe’s hunting rights on a requirement that Tribal members permanently reside on designated reservations. Reading the Treaty language in context, the Court found the Tribes “naturally would have understood” its terms to mean that they were agreeing to give up their claims to and rights in their ancestral territory and relocate to reservations, but also reserving (and retaining) their right to hunt throughout that territory. 

U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota:   

Chase v. Andeavor Logistics L.P. No. 1:19-cv-00143 (D.N.D, Aug. 8, 2023) (On remand from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit) 

A pipeline company planning an operation through Tribal and allotted lands secured permission from the Tribal Nations to operate, but could not reach an agreement with individuals who owned allotted lands held in trust by the United States. The owners filed trespass and constructive trust claims against the pipeline company. The court ruled that individual Indians who are equitable owners of allotted lands held in trust by the United States may not assert a federal common law cause for action for trespass. 

Tribal News: 

First Indigenous Peoples Feast celebrates food sovereigntyW&M News 

  • William & Mary faculty member, Troy Wiipongwii M.P.P. ’18 (Chickahominy), brought together Indigenous chefs to spark conversations about community, identity and the role of food in advancing Indigenous sovereignty. 
  • “There are several isolated Indigenous food sovereignty initiatives happening in Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia. … The connecting point between all of these efforts [is] food consumption. Getting people excited about food and explaining how all these little things connect to bring the food to the table is, for me, the recipe for building that coalition,” Wiipongwii said.   

Dept. of Agriculture: Expands local partnerships to increase homeownership opportunities for Native AmericansWisPolitics 

  • Acting Under Secretary for Rural Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Roger Glendenning, announced the agency is collaborating with eight Native Community Development Financial Institutions (NCDFIs) to increase the number of Native Americans who can become homeowners while residing on Tribal lands in eight states. 

USDA Announces 2024 Tribal Scholarships and FellowshipsUSDA 

  • The USDA announced two Tribal higher education programs. 
  • USDA provides a fast-track career path through the USDA 1994 Tribal Scholars Program, and provides Tribal college teachers with access to USDA resources and research through the Terra Preta do Indio Tribal teachers Fellowship.  

State Agriculture Commissioner Announces $1 Million Available Through Round 2 Of Urban Farms and Community Gardens Grant ProgramNY Government  

  • The second round of the New York State Urban Farms and Community Gardens Grant Program is now accepting applications, with $1 million available. Tribal groups are among the eligible candidates. 
  • Funding from the Urban Farms and Community Gardens Grant Program can be used to pay for employee wages, contractual costs, equipment, and other operating expenses. It will also help defray the costs of projects that emphasize food production, food safety, and food distribution while having a long-lasting effect on local food resiliency.  

A Native-Owned Brewery Inspired by the SouthwestThe Story Exchange 

  • The creator of Bow & Arrow Brewing Co., Shyla Sheppard, said, “We didn’t set out to be the first Native woman-owned brewery in the United States, but I’m told we are.” She blends traditional Indigenous ingredients into her handmade brews, drawing influence from the American Southwest, together with her partner Missy Begay. 
  • Sheppard is a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes (Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara Nation). Begay, meanwhile, was born in Albuquerque and raised on the Navajo (Diné) Nation.  

Native lands lack clean water protections, but more tribes are taking chargeIdaho Capitol Sun 

  • The federal government only permits 25% of Tribes on reservation lands to control the quality of their water, and it’s causing Tribes like White Earth Nation to take steps within the courts. 
  • “White Earth firmly believes that if they did not take this action, the health and well-being of their members would be imminently harmed,” said Jamie Konopacky, the Tribe’s environmental attorney. “Because of the growing concern about massive water appropriations, they passed this ordinance to give themselves independent permitting authority.” 

Youth Photography Scavenger Hunt at Meechooôk FarmUCONN News 

  • In July 2023, UConn Extension organized a youth photography scavenger hunt at Meechooôk Farm in partnership with the Departments of Agriculture and Parks and Recreation of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation (MPTN). This endeavor is a component of the MPTN community’s broader commitment to youth development and advancements in agricultural literacy. 
  • MPTN youth were provided with cameras and a scavenger hunt sheet that encouraged them to explore the farm with the help of two older MPTN teens who are employed at the farm. The photos that the youth had captured at the farm were then developed and entered into the New London County 4-H Fair on August 11-13th, 2023.   

Cooking behind the scenesICT News 

  • Native American cuisine has been the centerpiece of Chef Niko Albert Williams’ table. She discussed Leonardo DiCaprio and the reasons we should be considering duck eggs. 
  • Chef Niko spent 5-6 months on the set of Killers of the Flower Moon cooking for leading man, Leonardo DiCaprio.  
  • Chef Niko believes that by connecting with more ancestral foods, like eggs from ducks, this can begin the process of healing from colonization.  

U of A Establishes Native American Student Services Director Through Grant-Funded InitiativeUniversity of Arkansas 

  • The U of A and the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative proudly announce the newly created Native American Student Services director position on the U of A campus. This position, funded through a U.S. Department of Agriculture Tribal New Beginnings Grant, will serve as a cornerstone in the university’s dedication for Native American student support.   
  • “Investing in the next generation of Native American food and agriculture leaders is an integral part of the broader mission of IFAI, which exists to address the unique needs and challenges of Native American communities through research and educational support,” said Erin Parker, executive director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative. “The creation of the Native American Student Services director aligns perfectly with IFAI’s goals, and we thank Dr. Marty Matlock for his commitment to students and vision for the creation of this position.”   



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