Navajo Nation Officials Meet With The Office Of Homeland Security

Washington, D.C. – Council Delegate Freddie Howard, Division of Public Safety Acting Executive Director Dorothy Fulton, Navajo Nation Washington Office Executive Director Michelle Brown-Yazzie and their staffs recently met with officials from the White House Office of Homeland Security. The purpose of this meeting was to request that the Navajo Nation be included in Homeland Security initiatives.

Duncan Campbell, Director of Intergovernmental Relations for the Office of Homeland Security, responded favorably to the Navajo Nation’s request for a tribal liaison. He also agreed to figure out a way to get funds to tribes.

The Division of Public Safety officials also met with various Congressional Representatives, members of Federal agencies, and paid their respects at the National Law Enforcement Memorials’ various events. These visits sought increases in appropriations for corrections, criminal investigations, and law enforcement issues for the Navajo Nation Public Safety Programs. President Bush addressed The Division of Public Safety Officials and other National Law Enforcement Agencies on the National Mall Wednesday, May 15. The Navajo Nation Washington Office facilitated these visits and engagements.

This week Tribal, State, Federal, and County officials converged in Washington DC to honor National Police Week. This invitation was extended to all Law Enforcement Officials. Police Officers from throughout the country visit Washington, DC to lobby Congress concerning appropriations and other legislative issues and to pay tribute to their fallen officers at the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and various memorials held by the White House and Congress throughout the week.

Public Safety Chief Dorothy Fulton Visits Capitol Hill

Washington D.C. - Chief Dorothy Fulton met with congressional members and agency offices to advocate for Navajo Nation Public Safety Programs. Chief Dorothy Fulton was accompanied by Navajo Nation Chief of Criminal Investigations, Ivan Tsosie; Chief of Corrections, Wilbe Antone and members of the Navajo Nation Public Safety Committee: Ernest Nez and Freddie Howard. The delegation met with the offices of Senators: John McCain (R-Ariz.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Robert Bennett (R-Utah), and Representative Joe Skeen (R-N.M.). Agency visits included: Office of Bureau of Indian Affairs Corrections, the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

House Passes Welfare To Work Bill

Washington, D.C. - On May 16, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4737 on a 229-197 vote. The bill was largely passed along party lines. The measure would require welfare clients to work 40 hours a week, up from 30 hours now. And states would be required to have 70 percent of their welfare clients employed by 2007, up from 50 percent now. Representative Tom Udall (D-N.M.) stated that this legislation would cost the State of New Mexico $150 million over five years in an unfunded mandate. The passed bill includes very little money for child care. The Senate will propose higher levels of child care spending and less onerous work requirements. The House bill would reauthorize (PL 104-193) enacted in 1996. The Senate is opposed to the House bill and has yet to take up the measure, although the Senate has held various hearings on the matter.

Navajo Nation’s Washington Office Attends First Session Of The United Nations Permanent Forum On Indigenous Issues

New York, N.Y. – As part of work being done in relation to the United Nations Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the United Nations is holding its first ever forum on indigenous peoples issues beginning on May 13. Representatives of indigenous non-governmental organizations, tribes and nations from around the world are in attendance. These indigenous representatives will discuss land, natural resources, discrimination, colonization, environmental, education and self-determination and other issues. The Permanent Forum is a two-week event planned to end on May 24. The Navajo Nation Washington Office represented the Navajo Nation by attending two days of the session held in New York City.

Bureau of Indian Affairs Economic Development Summit

Washington, D.C. - The Bureau of Indian Affairs will host an Economic Development Summit (proposed title, “National Summit on the Emergence of Indian Economies”) the week of September 16-20, in Phoenix, Ariz. The goal of the summit is to, “develop Indian Country business strategies and alliances to create 100,000 Indian Country jobs by 2008 and Tribal self-sustaining market driven economies by 2020.” During the summit, the BIA is planning to showcase successful Indian Country businesses, catalog tribal products and services available to government and business buyers.

The BIA hopes that the summit will be interactive and will give tribes, business owners, corporations, and government entities the opportunity to meet, share business information and resources.

Through information sharing and by establishing working contacts and networks BIA hopes to streamline the government procurement process, maximize federal resources available to tribes, and draft working models for tribal organizations which can support effective and profitable Indian Country businesses. The BIA hopes individuals, organizations, and Federal agencies can coordinate business strategies and alliances to produce more successful Indian Country enterprises.

For more information, contact Rondelle Clay, Native American Management Services at (703) 821-2226, ext. 234, or e-mail her at rclay@namsinc.org.

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