Policy Brief – July 10, 2023

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Policy Brief Summary:

Congress is back on the Hill this week with a number of hearings, one of which will discuss Agriculture and Critical Supply Chains. One thing to highlight in the Regulatory / Rulemaking section is the notice for membership nominations for USDA’s Tribal Advisory Committee, which stems from the 2018 Farm Bill. Nominations are due on August 14, 2023. In media, Intertribal Agriculture Council posts notice of assistance for producers who can utilize the Discrimination Financial Assistance Program, Pyramid Lake Paiute hosts the first ever Nevada Tribal Foods Summit and Blackfeet in Montana work on re-introducing bison in a National Geographic piece.  

Congressional Hearings   

Looking Back: Congress was in recess the week of July 3-7

Looking Ahead: Congressional Hearings this week: July 10-14th

Hearing: House Ways and Means Committee Monday, July 10th at 3:30pm ET 

Topic: “Trade in America: Agriculture and Critical Supply Chains” 


Hearing: House Natural Resources Committee Wednesday, July 12th at 2:00pm ET 

Topic: H.R. 929 “The Puyallup Tribe of Indians Land into Trust Confirmation Act of 2023”; H.R. 2882 “The Udall Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2023”; H.R. 3579 “The Tribal Trust Homeownership Act of 2023” 


Hearing: Senate Indian Affairs Committee Wednesday, July 12th at 2:30pm ET 

Topic: S. 616 “Leach Lake Reservation Restoration Technical Corrections Act of 2023”; S. 1898 “Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project Amendments Act of 2023”; S. 1987 to provide for the settlement of the water rights claims of the Fort Belknap Indian Community. 


Hearing: Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Wednesday, July 12th at 2:30pm ET 

Topic: Pending legislation hearing over several bills pertaining to land management; S. 1088 “North Dakota Trust Lands Completion Act of 2023”; S. 2149 to sustain economic development and National Forest System land use in the State of Montana 

White House Executive Orders/Actions:   

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Approves North Dakota Disaster Declaration ordering Federal assistance to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by flooding from April 10-May 6, 2023. 

Regulatory/Rulemaking Actions:   

 For access to older, still open Federal Register Notices visit:    IFAI’s Policy Briefings Webpage   

Agency: Food and Nutrition Service, USDA 

Action: Notice; Comments due August 22, 2023 

Why it matters: Comments are requested over the Women Infant and Children (WIC) Participant and Program Characteristics 2024 & 2026 Study.  


Posted: Week of June 26th 


Agency: USDA 

Action: Final Rule 

Why it matters: The Packers and Stockyards has been finalized to provide instructions and rules for livestock sellers; adding procedures and timeframes for a livestock seller to notify the livestock dealer and the Secretary of Agriculture that the seller has not received full payment for purchases; livestock dealers with average annual purchases over $100,000 are required to obtain written acknowledgement from livestock sellers that trust benefits do not pertain to credit sales. 


Posted: Week of June 26th 


Agency: Office of Policy Development and Research, HUD 

Action: Notice of Proposed Information Collection 

Why it matters: HUD is requesting comments about Housing Counseling Notice of Funding Opportunity to determine if grant applicants meet the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). 


Posted: Week of July 3rd 


Agency: Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), USDA 

Action: Final rule with request for comments due August 28th, 2023 

Why it matters: FCIC is amending its regulations to incorporate actual production history (APH) requirements. These regulations will cause changes to the crop insurance policies for the 2024 and succeeding crop years on or after June 30, 2023. 


Posted: Week of July 3rd 


Agency: USDA 

Action: Notice of establishment the Tribal Advisory Committee Nominations for membership due August 14, 2023 

Why it matters: The Tribal Advisory Committee will advise the Secretary of Agriculture on Tribal and Indian affairs, governed by the provisions of FACA. This notice also solicits for nominations for membership on the Tribal Advisory Committee. 


Posted: Week of July 3rd  


Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 

Action: Notice of revised Consultation Handbook – June 28, 2023 

Why it matters: Even though NOAA’s existing policy and guidance was developed in consultation with federally recognized Indian Tribes, NOAA recognizes these documents would benefit from another review and update. Part of this update also includes comments sought on the existing Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) 


Posted: Week of July 10th  

Tribal Consultation/Listening Sessions:   

Title of Event: Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) Program Proposed Rule Consultation 

Date / Time: July 12, 2023 @ 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT 

About: On May 24, 2023, USDA Rural Development published a Proposed Rule designed to amend the RBDG program regulations to clarify and expand eligibility for federally recognized Tribes to support wholly owned Tribal-government entities as program beneficiaries. Tribal leaders will learn more about the proposed changes and can make recommendations relating to the proposed amendments.  

 Registration Link  


Title of Event: U.S, Department of the Treasury, Tribal Consultation on the Elective Payment of Applicable Credits under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 

Date/Time: July 17 from 1-4 p.m. EDT 

About: Under Section 6417 of the Inflation Reduction Act, a new provision called an elective payment election will allow for the first time certain tax-exempt and governmental entities to access specified clean energy tax credits as payments from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).Section 6417 generally applies to tax-exempt organizations, State and local governments, Indian tribal governments (“Tribes”), Alaska Native Corporations, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and rural electric cooperatives, which are referred to as “applicable entities”. Section 6417 allows applicable entities to make an elective payment election. 

Registration Link  

Supreme /Lower Court Decisions:   

No decisions relevant to Tribal food and agriculture were handed down at the time of publication 

Tribal-Congressional News: 

Intertribal Agriculture Council Provides Assistance with USDA Discrimination Financial Assistance Program Application Process – Benzinga 

  • The Discrimination Financial Assistance Program, which Congress established in Section 22007 of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022, has opened its application process, according to a statement from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Ranchers, farmers, and owners of forest land who can show discrimination by USDA loan programs are eligible for the program. The Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) encourages qualified American Indian and Alaska Natives to apply in light of USDA’s historically unfair treatment of Tribal producers. 
  • The Intertribal Agriculture Council is working with USDA as a partner to make sure that Tribal producers receive the most up-to-date information about the Discrimination Financial Assistance Program and to directly help Tribal producers during virtual and physical events during the application season. 

Indigenous food programs get federal funding – Marketplace 

  • A volunteer from the Oneida Nation recently winnowed the tribe’s customary white maize at their organic farm in northeastern Wisconsin. Luwatiya’takenhas Danforth, the farm’s outreach coordinator, observed from a few feet away. “Our white corn has been here since the beginning of time, when our Sky Woman fell from the sky,” Danforth said. More than twice as much protein is present in the corn Danforth described. To improve Indigenous people’ access to this type of traditional food, the Department of Agriculture is investing $3.5 million. The Oneida and Menominee nations, together with six other countries, are a part in the three-year experimental project. 
  • In the United States, one in four Native people lack appropriate access to food. The federal response to that issue for many years has been to ship cheese, white flour, and salt pork to Native towns. However, this has played a part in the high prevalence of obesity and diabetes. The new federal initiative aims to increase tribal control over their food supply. 

Celebrating Indigenous Foods at the First Nevada Tribal Foods Summit  – Sierra Nevada Ally  

  • During the last week in June, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe hosted the first Nevada Tribal Foods Summit. The summit featured a potluck during which a cui-ui, an endangered sucker fish from Pyramid Lake. For many it was the first time being able to try the fish that has been important to the agriculture of the tribe. Besides the potluck, the three-day event featured presentations and discussions about the rights and capacity of tribal nations and people to choose how their food is produced and delivered, including producing traditional foods. 

Arizona gets $1 billion for broadband, Navajo Nation to work with Hobbs for tribal allocation  – Navajo Hopi Observer 

  • As part of the more than $42.45 billion announced by the Commerce Department on June 26th, Arizona will receive slightly under $1 billion in government funds for the improvement of high-speed internet access. The Arizona Commerce Authority will be in charge of managing Arizona’s $993.1 million part of the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program. Since December, the Arizona Commerce Authority has been preparing how it will distribute what Governor Katie Hobbs called the “historic broadband investment.” Installing broadband to Tribal nations has been a goal of the Native Farm Bill Coalition. This opportunity, while not directly from the Farm Bill, does help Tribal producers.  

At long last, the American buffalo has come home – National Geographic 

  • The Blackfeet Nation has been implementing bison conservation efforts across the Tribe’s reservation.  At one point, the future for bison was very bleak. Colonization, western expansion, federal policy, and more, have all impacted the bison population. Stories like this highlight the work that’s being done to mitigate the loss. “It just feels so good to finally see them here in this place they want to be,” said Ervin Carlson, director of the Blackfeet Nation Buffalo Program, regarding the Tribe’s bison release late June 2023.