Three hundred tribal members from 57 tribes arrived to a conference in Portland, Oregon to address the budget cuts that will go into effect under the new federal administration. According to tribal leaders from Montana, California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Idaho, the cuts go against treaty agreements.
Though the details and commentary may vary, the budget cuts are clear. Tribes can expect to lose $64 million in education funding, $21 million from law enforcement, $27 million from natural resource programs and $23 million from human services. In addition, the sub-standard housing found on many reservations will continue to go under-served and tribal members can expect to see reductions on housing monies.
Although messages have been sent to the White House and to Coalter Baker, of the Office of Management and Budget, tribal leaders have yet to receive an answer or a statement regarding their concerns. This is similar to the White House silence received by Dave Archambault II, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
In February, Archambault was prepared to meet with members of the Trump administration but learned en route that the administration had granted permission for the Dakota Access Pipeline construction to continue. Archambault told the Washington Post, “I was slighted. I was disrespected.” He mentioned that he might as well have stayed home.
Based on Archambault’s experience and the lack of statements from the White House regarding the budget, Western tribes might have to take to the courts to fight for what is owed them.
Categories: Native American, Native American Tribes