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.
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Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.), co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus, led a bipartisan group of House members writing to President Donald Trump on Wednesday urging him to exempt the Indian Health Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and other agencies that serve the needs of Native communities from his federal hiring freeze.
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) was today approved by the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee to serve a second term as Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies.
The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources is today considering the nomination of Congressman Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) to serve as Secretary of the Interior. Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.), the lead Democrat on the Appropriations Subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Department of the Interior, released the following statement on the Zinke nomination:
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) met with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Monday afternoon to thank her for her leadership of the United States Department of the Interior and to extend best wishes as the Obama administration draws to a close.
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) released the following statement after President Barack Obama used his power under the Antiquities Act to create the Bears Ears and Gold Butte National Monuments:
Representative Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.), Ranking Member of the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement after President-elect Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Representative Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) as Secretary of the Interior:
“In the six weeks since his election, President-elect Donald Trump has begun laying the groundwork to roll back nearly a century of progress protecting our environment and conserving our public lands.