The federal government has a unique treaty and trust relationship with our 567 sovereign tribal nations. As part of this relationship, the federal government has the responsibility to provide health, education and law enforcement, among other services, for American Indians and Native Alaskans. While significant progress has been made, the federal government still has work to do to fully meet its obligations to Native people.
I serve as Co-Chair Emeritus of the bipartisan Congressional Native American Caucus and as Chair of the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee. In both roles, I work closely with tribal leaders and Native communities to ensure adequate funding for the Indian Health Service, Indian Education, Indian School Construction, and Native American Housing Block Grants. Federal investments in health, education, economic development programs, and housing are vital to making Native American families and communities stronger.
More on Native Americans
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.), Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, released the following statement today after the passage of the FY 21 Interior-Environment funding bill, part of a four-bill appropriations minibus, H.R. 7608:
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) released the following statement today after the Washington NFL Football team announced it will retire its racist nickname:
“For years, I have been proud to stand with tribal leaders, youth, and organizations in calling for the National Football League’s franchise in Washington to end its use of a racist mascot that demeans and dehumanizes Native Americans. For decades, this caricature of Native Americans was used for profit with the effect of devaluing and diminishing the humanity of native people.
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) released the following statement today after corporate sponsors asked the Washington NFL team to change its harmful name and mascot:
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.), released the following statement today on the $3 trillion Heroes Act, the next emergency funding bill proposed by House Democrats in response to the pandemic that is impacting all of our communities:
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.), Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, released the following statement today in response to the Department of the Treasury and Department of Interior’s announced plan for distributing $4.8 billion of the $8 billion in emergency response funds allocated to Native American tribal governments by the CARES Act:
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.), Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, held a field hearing in St. Paul on Monday, Feb. 25, 2020, to gather testimony from stakeholders on funding priorities for Fiscal Year 2021.
Chair McCollum heard testimony from two dozen witnesses representing academia, tribes, government entities, and community groups. A recap of the witness testimony is below.
Today the Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2020 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, which includes $37.28 billion in funding, an increase of $1.73 billion over the 2019 enacted level and $7.24 billion over the President’s 2020 request. There is also an additional $2.25 billion of funding provided under the fire suppression cap adjustment.
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Chair Betty McCollum released the following statement:
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) and Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) issued the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 375 to amend the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, to reaffirm the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to take land into trust for Indian Tribes, and for other purposes. Cole and McCollum are the original sponsors of the bill.
The House Appropriations Committee today released the draft fiscal year 2020 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies funding bill, which will be considered in subcommittee on Wednesday, May 15, at 2pm ET/1pm CT. The legislation includes funding for programs within the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other related agencies, including the Indian Health Service.
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-MN) release the following statement regarding her legislation to authorize advance appropriations for essential tribal services funded by the federal government: