United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, yesterday convened a legislative hearing to receive testimony on seven bills:
- S. 2165, the Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony Act of 2019, will provide additional legal protections to Native American tribal artifacts and sacred objects by creating an explicit prohibition on exporting cultural items obtained in violation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, Archeological Resources Protection Act or the Antiquities Act.
- S. 2716, A bill to amend the Grand Ronde Reservation Act, and for other purposes, amends the Grand Ronde Reservation Act to correct a long-standing error created by an 1871 land survey and later 1994 amendment to the Act, that clarifies the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde intended to only relinquish land claims to the Thompson Strip in Oregon.
- S. 2912, the Blackwater Trading Post Land Transfer Act, authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to take 55.3 acres of land into trust for the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona.
- S. 3019, the Montana Water Rights Protection Act, approves and ratifies water claims for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana, becoming the largest Indian water settlement in American history.
- S. 3044, the Western Tribal Water Infrastructure Act of 2019, expands the Americas Water Infrastructure Act to include the Columbia River Basin projects, and extends and authorizes $10 million each year for these projects.
- S. 3099, the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Land Transfer Act of 2019, directs the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to convey by warranty deed 10.87 acres of land, located in Sitka, Alaska, to the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium.
- S. 3100, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Land Transfer Act of 2019, directs the Secretary of the Department of HHS to convey by warranty deed two lots of land, located in Anchorage, Alaska, to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.
“Today, the Committee received testimony from the Administration on seven bills that intend to improve tribal communities. These bills protect native artifacts and sacred objects from exportation, place land into trust, convey land to tribal health consortiums, approve and ratify water settlements, authorize water projects, and clarify the relinquishment of land claims,” said Hoeven. “The testimony and responses to questions that we received during the legislative hearing will help the Committee continue to review the pending legislation.”
The Committee received testimony from:
- The Honorable Tim Petty, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary, Office of Water and Science, US Department of the Interior, Washington, DC
- Mr. Darryl LaCounte, Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, US Department of the Interior, Washington, DC
For witness testimony and video of the legislative hearing, click here.