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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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.
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) delivered the following remarks on the House Floor about her opposition to the FY2017 Continuing Resolution:
Mr. Speaker, once again this Congress has abandoned its responsibility to provide a full year appropriation. Months of hard work were thrown away, pushing important funding decisions down the road.
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.), co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus, released the following statement after the United States Army Corps of Engineers announced that it is denying the easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline and requiring a full environmental impact statement for the project:
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) released the following statement in commemoration of National Native American Heritage Month, which is proclaimed each November:
"Each November, we celebrate the contributions of First Americans with National Native American Heritage Month. The people of the 567 diverse, federally recognized tribal nations – including the 11 Ojibwe and Dakota nations in Minnesota – play a complex and vital role in our nation’s history, and make our communities and our country stronger today.
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.), the Democratic co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus, and 18 House Democrats wrote today to President Barack Obama to urge greater consultation between the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Standing Rock Sioux over the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) released the following statement after the House passed the House amendment to S. 246, the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act by voice vote:
“I am very pleased that the House recognized the importance of understanding and addressing the needs of Native American children by passing this bipartisan bill today.