Regulatory Barriers To American Indian Job Creation (Part 2 of 2)

Regulatory Barriers To American Indian Job Creation (Part 2 of 2)


apologize for the delay on everything this is the nature of what’s going on right now I’m back and forth we’ll have some members I’ll be coming in and out the important thing is that the testimony that you’re going to be giving will be in the Congressional Record and so even for members are coming in and out will be able to be able to reference that and time to come so I really appreciate y’all being here let me get us back in subcommittee will come back into order we’re going to welcome our panel of guests very honored the child shows to be able to be here today to be able to share your testimony with us both oral and written testimony miss mary kindle is now the acting inspector general at the Department of Interior thank you very much being here miss on New mattel as the director of Natural Resources and environment teaming at Gao miss Patricia deauville the council represented for the rosebud Sioux tribe mr. Ron Allen is the chairman of Jamestown S’Klallam tribe so we really appreciate y’all being here it is our tradition that we swear in witnesses before we begin testimony Phillip please stand and raise your right hands do you solemnly swear or affirm the testimony you’re about to give this committee will be the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God thank you let the record reflect the witnesses answered in the affirmative you may be seated in order to allow time for discussion I’d ask you to be able to limit your oral testimony to around five minutes or a little lights that you’ll see in front of you there to help count everything down for you your entire written stay on me be made part of the record and in case you don’t get all of your oral testimony in I’d like to begin with you miss Kendall and you may begin your five minutes Thank You mr. chairman members of the committee for the opportunity to testify today about the challenges associated with economic development on tribal lands and the creation of jobs for American Indians responsibility to American Indians has consistently been a top management challenge for the Department of the Interior the myriad problems we have uncovered in BIA portrayed programs that are sorely understaffed and poorly managed the OIG has identified gross program and efficiencies at many levels at indian affairs and in tribal land management of federal funds let me summarize some of the more recent work we done regarding the Bureau of Indian Affairs the federal government has long acknowledged the complexity of land fractionation on indian trust operations fractionation is the result of dividing tribal land into parcels and allotting the parcels to individual Indians the allotments are then subsequently divided among heirs through probate with each generation the amount of fractionation increases we are working with the department as it develops a comprehensive plan that will guide its efforts to significantly reduce fractionation we found that 32 million dollars in roads funds were distributed by one region annually but only three to four million in roads projects had any physical oversight or verification of work by BIA in another instance we determined that bia paid out over 2.4 million dollars for airport and roads improvement of that we estimate that 1.6 million dollars had been expended on a non specified road maintenance project and that as much as 200 thousand dollars may have been over build by a subcontractor BIA also mismanaged a nine million dollar do t funded ferry boat in Alaska that turned into a private boat tour in each of these instances meaningful management oversight was quite simply absent nearly seven years ago the OIG conducted a thorough assessment of Indian country detention facilities our assessment revealed a long history of neglect and apathy on the part of BIA officials which resulted in serious safety security and maintenance deficiencies at the majority of the detention facilities in Indian country we recently completed an evaluation of bi a’s efforts to improve staffing levels at their detention facilities a critical issue directly impacting safety and security and a key recommendation from our 2004 report we have determined that the despite the focus of the seriousness of the problem and a forty-eight percent increase in funding in excess of sixty four million dollars BIA has failed to address the staffing shortages and the state of these facilities remains largely unchanged in February 2010 the OIG issued an evaluation of school violence prevention measures in tribally operated schools overall our evaluation revealed that many schools are dangerously unprepared to prevent violence and ensure the safety of students and staff that report on school violence was preceded by a report in August 2008 addressing preparedness to a preparedness for violence in BIA bie operated schools our findings were not surprisingly very similar in some other management weaknesses ten individuals including a BIA agency superintendent have been indicted in connection with a decade-long fraud scheme to embezzle funds from a tribal credit program seven of the ten indicted including two other BIA employees have pleaded guilty to various charges related to the fraud scheme total loss to the credit program is approximately 1.2 million dollars for 14 years BIA funded a non-existent fish hatchery BIA continued to fund that hatchery even after a superintendent visited the reservation and saw that the hatchery site had been converted into office space due to our resource limitations the OIG refers many serious allegations of employee misconduct such as fraud theft retaliation and misuse of funds to the BIA on a regular basis with the expectation that the issues will be appropriately resolved or that poor managers and or ethically challenged employees will be held accountable unfortunately BIA more than any other Bureau at interior has a history of failing to respond to the OIG referrals or even worse completely disregarding the serious matters referred to them Thank You mr. chairman for the opportunity to share this information with you I will be happy to answer any questions you or other members of the committee may have thank you very much director Mottola mr. chairman and members of the subcommittee I am pleased to be here today to participate in your hearing on challenges to economic development in Indian country as you know Indian tribes are among the nation’s most economically distressed groups and often lack basic infrastructure without such infrastructure tribes often find it difficult to compete successfully in the economic mainstream in addition our past work has identified several unique circumstances that exist in Indian country that may create additional uncertainties or impediments for both tribes and private companies wishing to pursue economic activity in these areas I would like to briefly describe five of these unique circumstances for you the first unique circumstance that creates uncertainty relates to the land and trust status for Indian lands in 1934 the Indian Reorganization Act provided the Secretary of the Interior discretionary authority to take land in trust on behalf of federally recognized tribes or their members trust status helps secure these glands for tribal use and these lands are no longer subject to state and local property taxes and zoning ordinances however a 2009 Supreme Court decision has created significant uncertainty regarding the land in trust status for a large number of tribes this is because the Supreme Court ruled that interior can only take land in trust for tribes that were under federal jurisdiction in 1934 at this time it is unclear how many pending land in trust applications will be affected by this decision the second circumstance unique to Indian country relates to tribal environmental stand the Clean Water Act Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Air Act authorized EPA to treat Indian tribes as States for the purposes of implementing these laws on tribal lands as sovereign governments tribes want to exercise this authority because they believe they are more familiar with their own environmental needs however states are concerned that allowing tribes to set these standards could result in a patchwork of standards within the state and potentially hinder a state’s overall economic development plans our past work has indeed found that this authority has resulted in several disagreements between tribes and states in addition more stringent tribal standards could also act as a disincentive for companies who may choose to not operate their businesses on tribal lands because of these standards the third circumstance relates to the use of special tax provisions for Indian reservations one example of such a special tax provision is allowing tribes to use tax-exempt bonds to finance essential government functions on reservations use of tax-exempt bonds lowers borrowing costs for tribes and provides higher after-tax yields to investors however it is unclear to what extent this provision has actually helped tribes because the IRS has not yet issued regulations defining what activities are allowable under this provision without these regulations tribes have limited guidance to help them decide what functions they can fund with tax-exempt bonds the fourth circumstance relates to the complex process of obtaining rights of way across Indian lands securing rights of way is an essential step to providing tribes with the critical infrastructure that they need to support economic activity however obtaining rights away can be time-consuming and expensive in part because interior must approve these applications several of the steps that service providers must take to get interiors approval involve negotiating with the landowners who can be individuals multiple owners or tribes if an individual allotment of Indian land is owned by multiple owners sometimes reaching into the hundreds then this process can become even more owners because federal regulations require that the majority of owners must approve a right away before it can be finalized the final unique circumstance I would like to discuss is the legal and judicial systems that exist in Indian country having effective legal and judicial systems is often considered a prerequisite to attracting private investment to tribal lands this is because such systems provide investors with assurance that disputes will be resolved fairly however the legal and judicial systems on tribal lands are fairly complex and tribes also have sovereign immunity these circumstances can act as disincentives for businesses who are trying to decide whether to operate on tribal or non tribal lands as you can see mr. chairman there are a number of unique circumstances that tribes and business owners must consider when making decisions about whether or not to pursue economic development in Indian country in some cases these circumstances can act as impediments this concludes my prepared statement I’d be happy to answer any questions we look forward to that conversation Thank You director this is mrs. juvia we’d be honored to take your test by now thank you good afternoon chairman and committee members on behalf of the President roseburg Rodney Bordeaux of the rosebud Sioux tribe has she Sean gulati I would like to thank you for convening this hearing on regulatory barriers in American Indian job creation the rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation is located in south central South Dakota a reservation consists of nine hundred thousand plus acres of rolling rolling prairie grasslands rich for agricultural production and filled with other natural resources our travel president rodney Bordeaux has now provided for six years the weight of his physician bears heavily upon his heart he has seen entirely too much poverty and tragedy on a daily basis among our people this underlying poverty has caused many social ills and issues now has become so pronounced that an air of hopelessness exists on the reservation especially within our youth according to the 2010 census the Rosebud reservation lies in the fourth poorest County in our nation with it with your help we intend to change this our natural resources here are many we intend to use these resources to the best of our abilities from grazing cattle to farming leases along with timber reduction production in the future we seek to build our economy from the renewable energies that our resources provide from wind development hydro power geothermal to biomass into fuels the rosebud Sioux tribe has been exploring the potential of wind power since 1998 and in March of 2003 we built a 2 750 kilowatt neg micon turbine capable of providing enough energy electricity for 200 homes annually we call this project the casino turbine project that is as because it’s located in next to our tribal casino this effort was accomplished to the assistance of the Department of Energy grant and a real utility service loan to the US Department of Agriculture from this initiative initial project the rosebud Sioux tribe accomplished the goal of having the first commercial sale of wind energy by the tribal government in the United States and we are very proud to state that our partners in the accomplishment were distributed general incorporated of liquid California distant and in a tribal account Council on utility policy iku after our first project we continued our partnership with dis gin and with their assistance we applied for unrewarded a second d lo dica do eet grant in 2003 we to conduct all the pre-construction activity to develop a 300 megawatt wind farm near the town of st. Francis South Dakota on tribal lands trust land called the owl feather warbonnet wind farm in 2008 five long years since the award alfonsi was issued by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and a grant years and lease agreement with dis gin and of’ WB LLC was also provided by the BIA in the tribe despite insurmountable hurdles and delayed action from BIA we have a shovel ready wind farm project since nineteen Oh since to August 2008 the remaining issue to overcome is a power purchase agreement PPA and this issue has severely tested the expertise of our developer Dale Osborne of dis chen due to the uniqueness of the project being on tribal trust lands and the distance to the electric load time is important and important issue in this matter and the project needs to be ready when an RFP is posted if the BIA did not take 18 months to approve the grant and lease agreement the project could have been operating and making a sorely needed revenue stream for the tribe we had to draft ppas in hand but lack due to the lack of wind experience within BIA and the BIA extensive timeframes to rfps for nearby energies from basin electric and then Nebraska Park Public Power district has expired dis gems efforts to make this project succeed more undeniable and they have in in my view exhausted all efforts to work with em PPC and Southwest power pool to respond to all our F he’s applicable unless we sell direct you to NPPD the project cannot get built selling beyond NPPD wielding and terror attacks will drive the economics beyond the cost to build and repair the project plus royalties it seems it is estimated that we can build this project at 66 million dollars that the project can ensure PPA on 4.5 cents a kilowatt a ski escalating at 2.5 percent annually with no willing or Tara fees imposed and only if we sell to nppd a power purchase agreement is the only remaining zuv significant issue that needs to be completed for OFW be it has identified three federal energy buyers that may apply for double RDCs point to the renewable energy goals of the energy policy act of 2005 first one is any federal agencies through the Walker system that could take the energy from the st. Francis substation to Omaha power Public Power district and can sell the energy and renewable energy certificates to a foot Air Force Base and NPPD that could sell the energy and re seas to the federal customers this project can be constructed by the end of 2011 the federal government can make this project happen if just responsibility is exercised in good faith we are not asking for money to fund this project we’re asking the federal government to assist us in the efforts to secure ppt help us find this path we also ask that to live up to the doctrine of trust responsibility and assisting us to help ourselves in building our economy direct the Department of Energy to assist the Bureau of Indian Affairs to fine-tune and quickly the process of all economic development ventures on endurance federal Indian trust lands the current process is too time-consuming and bureaucratic most often killing any project immediately as most investors don’t want a project to be collecting dust on bia shelf this will eliminate an over bureaucratic process to develop when renewable energies on the roads which we tried it tends to utilize the revenue from ours from revenue streams from our commercial wind efforts to teach energy education energy efficiency and enemy energy independence the use of our natural resources will help our people in the tribe to build self sustainable businesses from the renewable energy sources the revenue brought forth will adjust our peoples drastic need to upgrade our existing houses into energy efficient homes with renewable energy devices attached to lessen our dependency on the larger electrical grid along with the employment and businesses for our people thank you for your time I wasn’t able to UM to read the whole testimony because it is quite lengthy as he can tell and I was only speaking on one issue but there are so many more that we have we will have several questions for you and we’d be honored to be able have that testimony and put it into the written record as well thank you no thank you very much chairman Alan honor that you’re here the police received five minutes testimony from you Thank You mr. chairman um well I grab my testimony and thank you for accepting it and put it in the record again I’m Ron Ellen Sherman Jamestown S’Klallam tribe located in western Washington State i’m also the treasurer for the National Congress American Indians and I have served in that organization for about 20 years been a chairman for 34 years and so I’ve been actively involved in any country from east to west north to south I probably have been on more Indian reservations than anybody except maybe senator Dan in a way but and I this topic of rigatoni barriers for economic development and job creation in Indian country is a very broad category in our testimony we share with you the success of my tribe 565 Indian nations in America and they were from small like my tribe to larger ones like the rosebud Sioux and we all have very various different circumstances that wish that we want to advance our economic development and our independence in the independent nature of the Indian communities is is a long-standing historical relationship the mere fact that there’s become a dependency is is not our fault it’s a fault of a system that it’s a historical system so the question of the tory barriers is relative to what is the federal government’s obligation and responsibilities via treaties and statutes and just moral legal responsibilities to the Indian communities as governments in our political system we think it’s deeply rooted in Kurr back into the Constitution and but we also feel that we have made great success as the United States government has made a decision termination assimilation our policies that don’t work empowerment of tribal governments in our communities and our people to in order to advance economic development does work and you have seen in the last 25 plus years where it is becoming more and more successful you heard in previous testimonies different examples and in different areas where the needs to work fraud and abuse issues that are out there yes but but in relative to what have the successes it’s a small area so we don’t want you to see a few small areas where we’ve gone awry and judge how well we’re doing khattak work across America successfully good is going exceptionally well in economic development but we do have barriers you know the GAO has made a point of examples of access to finance the the tribal government cap status app can pass the 1984 created the authority of us there to issue tax-exempt bond to seek revenues in order to advance economic development in Turkey you if you had cities coming in and they’re telling you we’re not treated the same way of the stage you would you would create a fair playing ground for them so access to economic development to our communities the other comment that was made that you need to understand is is are there other bureaucracies impediments to us getting economic development or to our governments become and have a stronger capacities well the issue is do they have the resources so if you look at our political structure as governments do we have the legal political infrastructure that is conducive to a to to the private sector coming onto the Indian reservations and conducting business so do they have recourse or do they have an instant to come on you know tax tax benefits and things along that nature whether its energy or whether it’s creating widgets or whether it’s advancing there are different resources you have timbre or like in my area fisheries industries what is their incentive to come into our reservations and do business my tribe shows you we can be successful there are other tribes that are doing the same thing so we don’t want you to be skewed by the gaming industry that has been quite successful some of the tribes you know out of the 565 230 or 240 of marine net gaming industry of that two hundred thirty or forty it’s really you know a couple of triple dozen that actually are the really successful when you hear about not the majority of there are more break even even though they’ve created jobs but what it has done that you need to understand is that is created a new kind of resource made available to the tribal governments that they can now can invest into their communities and diversify their economic development portfolio and do things that the federal government can’t do so you see areas where tribes are becoming more resourceful more independent self-governance a legislation that is very effective in us negotiating for our fair share of a federal system and let us manage it so few eggs ask yourself how much should it cost us to help you become more independent you don’t have enough money you don’t have enough money to deal with with America’s problems a day we can’t count on you to live up to those treaty commitment but if you empower us if you help us you become strength of stronger as governments we can get the job done and we can show you countless examples where it’s working so I’m just touching on on a few of the issues with the chairman there this topic is a broad issue there are people out during the federal system who are trying and they have their own constraints and there are regulatory impediments no question about that that does should be removed but the issue is can you count on us becoming a part of the of the health and economic fiber of America yes when for the most part we’re in real America and rural merkel hat is equal part of the fiber of this of this nation Thank You mr. chairman thank you very much test run on that let me run through just a few questions that all have briefly to get some more contacts on it Turman Ellen are you on a reservation try born on reservation tribe I’m a reservation tribe I’m a small reservation we own about a thousand acres and of that thousand acres we only have about 35 that’s actually in reservation status okay so the other so you have a thousand acres there 35 you’re saying is in trust as in reservation status ever seen yes and and we have a lot of land that’s in the process it was noted earlier about the land into trust process that has been in tenant because of the kar-chee re stripping court decision once that is removed and then it opens up that opportunity for that trust status and many of us we’ll reacquire whether it’s checkerboard reservation or whether it’s a small reservation like ours that are trying to strengthen our homeland base okay you mentioned german ellen about empowerment’s better than forced assimilation can you give me a specific example what you would say this is empowerment this would what what would be helpful relative to the sympathy assimilation policy well just no no just you’re saying empowerment is better than forced assimilation by far so what I was looking for is a specific example of what you mean when you say empowerment empower us honest I probably the when the Quinns quick to mind is as a government if the government even though we have individuals we’re trying to enhance the with regard to their business as governments we have no economic base so are we have no revenue base so our revenue base is is based on the the businesses that we generate so so if we’re going to become independent from the federal government and become less dependent on it then that base has to be the the foundation for these these unrestricted resources to deal with the unmet needs in our community and so the issue for us will be the government has to have the authority that that that resource is tax exempt the rules the laws that recognize that unique stature of the other travel corporations and the revenue generated by it and the IRS recognition of those that authority is a big deal to us and as well as the authority the encumbered authority to secure tax-exempt loans you know for Economic Development great thank you Miss Kendall can ask you question my fractionalization on that came up earlier on it do is there a list that’s available to the tribes of the land that’s currently going through obviously people are being contacted now based on what just occurred last year in the purchase of lands and people are being contacted to see if they want to be able to combine that out correct is your question are people being contact well yes but that’s that’s going on currently is that correct I believe so okay the the question that I have with that is our the tribes made it made aware because that land if it is purchased back then it is seated to the tribe is that correct as trust land that’s my understanding what will the tribes be aware that this land is in process is there any system that you know that’s in place out there so the tribes no here’s the land that’s going through the process and there are ten that are still interested in their 20 that are not in the purchase process what my understanding is is the department has presently a program that addresses fractionation it’s been a very small program up until the promise that the Cobell settlement has the Department for a number of reasons I was not had not put in a plan in place until the approval goes through their thinking about it they’re talking internally but they have not done the kind of proactive communication I guess because they don’t want to sort of pre preempt finalization of the settlement okay thank you Abby question that will try to ask them directly on that and be able to track down that director Mattel a question for you on just dealing with the dynamics of all of these issues that you raised me erase some terrific issues on it on how do we get involved with this some of those boil down to bia really has a responsibility to help businesses know how to navigate through Indian law and dealing with their court systems the unique dynamics of that so businesses will not feel prohibited to be there they’ll be encouraged to be there and there’s someone can help them navigate through that do you see anywhere out there a process that’s in place from BIA to say we’re going to help any business of whether it is a McDonald’s or whether it is a company that builds widgets as chairman Alan mentioned before that wants to be able to come here so that someone will help them through that process does that kind of program exists I am not aware of such a program such a comprehensive program there might be individual programs for specific parts of within BIA for example to help them through navigate the judicial system and things like that but I’m not aware of a comprehensive program like you just described okay miss kindle you’re where you need type of program like that that would help outside businesses that want to be able to invest on tribes know how to be able to navigate the process I am not sorry okay well there’s one will try to be able to follow up on that one as well director Mattel you would also mention that the patchwork of environmental standards in just talking about that you talked about just the relationship the states the state that the tribe and the federal all trying to work together is that become an issue for businesses being able to come in and how what are the solutions that are being formed on that who’s who’s who’s finding a way to solve that I guess I should say or a success story we haven’t actually looked at there’s an businesses what we are past work has looked at is that the conflict that that creates between the tribal governments and the states so those are the issues that we have seen that in the past that because the tribes have been have this authority under the three acts they have created conflicts with the states for example states don’t like the fact that the business that the tribes are setting standards that are more stringent than the state standard so that’s the area that we have focused on we are not we haven’t done any extensive work looking at the effect that’s had on businesses okay thank you very much and i’m outside i’m going to be able to recognize the ranking member mr. Connolly for five minutes question Thank You mr. chairman but I see we’ve been joined by our full committee chairman and I would be happy to yield to him reclaiming my time when he is finished that’s very generous the ranking member knows that I generally I’m afraid ask questions and move to another subcommittee so very wise of you Jerry but thank you I’ll be brief I’ve got just a couple of questions and they they’re they’re sort of between the two government entities here miss Kendall you produce IG reports and conduct audits and investigations report you’re finding to the BIA is being a responsive to the information you’re sending them not always on we we do get responses primarily on the audit side we request responses from investigations that we provide to them why do you think they don’t respond with some predictability I wish I knew the answer mr. chairman i just i simply don’t one of the feelings we we get in the office of inspector general’s they’re simply out waiting us hmm you know one of the things we like here is that it’s harder to outweigh so it’s an area where we we do want to ask you to submit a good sub segments of ones that you feel that you need a response for haven’t gotten a response or at least it would be helpful and let us know about them because we probably in most cases want to know as badly as you do and we’ll be able to ask independently and quite honestly those will help educate us the Chairman the question that was actually more directed toward our US government representatives but I’d ask you do you think there’s any way that your tribe could navigate through business attempts with the current BIA support meaning if you didn’t hire your own lawyers at whatever expense you have to pay for specialists that understand the tribal process with BIA do you think there’s any chance that you could do it without that expense yes you do it and what we are doing it including land and trust application well no the landing the trust is a federal function that we can’t do you are a funk there are components of that process that we could do if they would accept including including the environmental review process and we do a lot of that for them so there that’s where a lot of the federal functions can be taken over by us that aren’t essential federal functions and that would make the process move much smoother much faster well let me do one follow-up question and for either the tribal members I’ve worked on land in trust for a number of the tribes in in my district and around the area and it’s even when for example BLM is begging the tribe to take land that they don’t have the funds to maintain that are not developable but they have ancestral significance we go through a long multi-year process to get it in trust and and so even when it’s in the federal government’s best interest to deliver it even when the tribe is willing to pay for the future maintenance etc etc because I have some well-to-do tribes you can’t get the process quickly in concert with the Natural Resources Committee obviously the committee of primary jurisdiction do and I would ask this to all of you do believe that what we should be doing is to come up with greater master plans of the aspirations of tribes commit land in trust designations so that if fee land is acquired at any time it has already gone through the process in a master plan the same way as a city often doesn’t have all of its territory filled out but it will stake the claim to that and I’d take it from both both sides if I if you could because it’s an area that I’ve never been able to move along but that i think would would be part of that changing of it if you could if you could literally clear those areas of aspiration so that then when they become available through fee or other purposes you could acquire them please chairman well first of all the answer is yes to debt that most tribes you have a comprehensive land use plan that that make that usually includes their existing reservation and there they’re seated territory where they resided and it can be a little complicated because in many of our communities it overlaps into our sister tribes so we have to be respectful of that that we may our company to plan land plan which that we want to acquire land for multiple reasons economic development cultural reasons natural resource etcetera that may overlap so some areas very clearly is in our territory of the tribe but some will overlap into other territories that our sister tribe will have an interest in and we have to resolve those issues but there are some issues within the process that we have to be careful the United States government does not want to take landing and Trust if there is any liability I mean any liability a want it will not take any land in trust so so we have to go through it and that’s why sometimes the process think a long time there may be something identified environmentally or so forth that the United States government says we got a problem till we get that resolved so that I have absolutely no liability this land will not be taken into trust that has been the biggest hiccup you know in the process set aside the kar-chee are a problem that we currently are emerging but many tribes do not have that comprehensive plan in place and and they should be encouraged to do that because their ceded territory is often much greater than their reservation base and I my time is expired i’ll just if you if you could in the case of california where they lost all of their ancestral tribes they were part of the mission system in most cases and even if they got it they’re often checker boards where these fell out during the allotment period that’s the area that we’ve dealt with a lot where when you buy a piece that’s within your contiguous border you still have to go through an extensive and expensive process to get it in trust any other comments because my time my time is expired but if there’s anything else that we the committee should know about expediting that process in order to allow for particularly beneficial use mr. Connolly I’m in your debt I yield back Thank You mr. chairman and with the permission of the chair absolutely I’m thank you for your for your courtesy on absolutely and and while the Chairman is still here I would like to follow up on his question to you miss Kendall I’m not sure I understood your answer you indicate you responded to the Chairman chairman Issa when he said are you getting cooperation from BIA you seemed to suggest no and you seem to suggest the reason you were given or the reason you understood that lack of cooperation was they were waiting you out a what kind of cooperation are you getting or not getting how have you communicated to them that that won’t be acceptable and waiting you well meaning what that you’re the acting inspector general and maybe when they get somebody else he or she will be friendlier no not at all sir this has been a long-standing problem with BIA and and much of it has not necessarily with our audits or investigations but we refer a lot of allegations that we receive back to bureaus and we do that with BIA as well we probably receive almost fifty percent of the allegations we receive relate to BIA and so go the whole department of the interior yes and so a good portion we will not investigate ourselves or conduct an audit ourselves could I just interrupt you one more time just to make sure we all understand what you’re saying fifty percent of the allegations allegations implies fraud or crime allegations of wrongdoing one way or the other yes so I can I can say affirmative Lee that in the matters that we refer to them to respond to themselves they have been very lacking in getting back to us and being responsive and in fact we have just in really in a sense of frustration have decided that we will close these matters out as non-responsive and start reporting them to Congress in our semi-annual report thank you and you are the only I G with jurisdiction over the BIA yes sir yeah okay thank you I’m Chairman Alan and miss duvel fill a du vil please feel free to comment as well if you wish I just wanted to sort of tick off some of the items that were cut or eliminated in the in HR 1 the continuing resolution passed on the party line vote here in the house 580 1.3 million dollar reduction for state and local law enforcement assistant account which tribal courts and travel detention facilities receive funding from seventeen point nine million dollar reduction to office of special trustee for American Indians nine million dollar decrease to the BIA construction account 900,000 reduction to the Indian land and water claim settlement miscellaneous payments account reductions proposed for labor education healthy human services serving American Indians Alaska Natives including Head Start tribal colleges Native Americans serving non-tribal institutions tribally controlled post-secondary vocational institutions and the list goes on a decrease of a hundred and thirty nine point three million to the IHS facilities account which also affects tribal lands and 200 million dollar in reductions to the native american housing block grant program to those with those Egyptians they don’t tell you is open hello what yes absolutely um you know there is no community in America that’s more underserved in American Indian communities I mean you all you have to do is look at the fact that our average unemployment rate in the Indian country is and that is in the mid-30s just average you go to rosebud and go to go to Pine Ridge in some of these other communities where it’s in the 70s and 80s it’s ridiculous the fact that these Head Start programs are these are the school construction programs or roads programs or the reduction of loan guarantee programs all in distance enters you know to invest in ending in our Indian communities that we don’t have the physical infrastructure to take care of our community needs so it so it’s not just about economic development is that it’s the community infrastructure to be able to take care of our families and our kids and to be educate them and then to enhance their abilities to do to care for their needs Public Safety you want to talk about public safety issues you must know about the atrocities going on in our communities the violence against Indian women and our families and our kids is just as terrible it’s just it’s a sad commentary of what’s going on our society so we know that that Congress is wrestling over the deficit reduction but we can tell you when you look at this three trillion dollar budget relative to where we are the Indian communities that resources the limited resources is a drop in the bucket and and we know they’re shaving them everywhere they can but I’m telling you that that that it’s going to have a serious detrimental impact to the two that what marginal success that we’ve been achieving in the last couple of years it’s been it’s in stagnant if you look at the budget you look at the way we’ve been moving forward and and the most significant increases are in health care but even in the significant increases in health care you can see the fact that we’re still way behind when you measure every every health care category that you’d measure that the health status of our communities in our people from the kids to the elders and so it’s a struggle for us and we see those kind of programs HUD programs go after a whole bunch of programs community programs an economic economic development program natural resource enhancement programs etc that that are out there and all each one of those programs all make a difference in our communities and we’re pushing to become stronger more vibrant and they all contribute their they all interface they’re interrelated and so the answer is yes it’s gonna it’s a detriment it’s a setback it’s disappointing because we think we’re getting traction with Congress we think Congress is listening to us that ok we got some problems we got some knees in appropriations you know the Chairman saying we got a problem here we’re under serving Indian communities you know and so it so we’re going to hold the line we’re going yes hold the line but we also we’re missing some serious needs here whether its interior or HUD or DOL or labor or commerce each one of them have a role in enhancing the welfare of our government in our communities thank you and yes this all these cuts and HR 1 they’re highly devastating to our tribes especially to mine um historically we have never been funded at a hundred percent and that that is the government trust responsibility to us cutting the housing the IHS there we have programs that need this money we have kids children that depend on a lot of this and that that is our future that’s well we consider sacred is our children and cuts like this make it so hard make it even harder for us and the hopelessness that I’ve talked about earlier it just pronounces it more so with these cuts if the government would live up to their trust responsibility give us the hundred percent that we need and we’re asking for then we won’t be a burden and that would empower us to be just as equal as any other nation within our nation so yeah this will hurt us and it is going to hurt us but we’re strong will will survive we survived for hundreds of thousands of years but with your help we our quality of life would be better miss Kendall earlier you were talking about some of the issues of waste sorry i was referencing mr. Labrador I apologize for that mr. Labrador you’re fine mr. chairman actually yield the time to you thank you it’s going to you referenced earlier several issues that’s ever coming up where funding had been allotted as I recall you reference of forty-eight percent increase in funding for detention centers than when you went back years later there was no change there instance where funding is being allotted how’s it being used or what what are you finding in these situations the matter i’m referring to specifically had to do with staffing in indian detention centers and as a result i believe in part of our 2004 report we’re staffing was one of the multiple concerns congress appropriated on bi a considerable amount of money i think if i said forty-eight percent increase about 62 million or so and what our effort was was to go see how they spent that money and unfortunately we could not determine how they accounted for it but very little if any was done to improve staffing the frustration that’s experienced here is that there are so many different variant issues that we’re dealing with there’s just a multitude of both legal with land issues with relationship issues with cities in a state and with the federal government that we’re making job creation incredibly complex and the greatest need that I see on the outside of this is what I’m asking you know coming in is not necessarily additional dollars it is the capacity for jobs to grow up on their own and to be as you mentioned before Chairman Alan self-sustaining and not be dependent but to be a fully function national economy within the system that’s functioning there on the tribe to where tribes that as you mentioned before the 230 some odd tribes that run casinos great they’re running a functioning business whether it be a wind farm to try to figure out the process of how to get that up so I can be sold and so the jobs can exist there or whether that be a functioning business it’s high-tech low-tech manufacturing whatever it may be we’ve got to figure out the systems and the processes that need to get in place so that this can thrive on its own let me just ask you mr. veal the type of jobs that exist among the drive and on tribal lands you mentioned the wind farms great you mentioned a casino that you have what are other jobs and industries or businesses that are there on site but right right now we have a lot of convenience stores grocery stores schools let me see our tribal government of course and we employ about five to six hundred people on the reservation for through the tribal government due to tribal government um we also have the Bureau of Indian Affairs our agency then I’m not sure how much they employ or how many of the employees are Native American how many how many members on the tribe that lived locally that live locally approximately 30,000 for our tribe but one thing that is highly pronounced on our reservation is that our an employment rate is above eighty five percent wow so you know a majority of our people are unemployed um a lot of them are trying to be self-employed with the arts and crafts and you know the resources that we do have in the talents that they do have to try to get some type of business off the ground yet still it’s it’s hard jegem adult obviously we’re scratching the services is an initial hearing and that’s what this is is fact finding and hearing and initiate the process than to disperse this to other committees that are engaged with directly on it you have identified multiple areas both written and orally on it if there’s one area to look at and say this one’s got to be resolved first could you identify one to say this is the key that’s got to be resolved first from the federal government side to make sure that we’re pulling back any impediment to job growth in these tribal areas I’ll go first I think the land and trust issue has to be resolved because until the tribes have a secure land base they cannot undertake the type of activities that the two tribal members have talked about they cannot do great they cannot conduct grazing they cannot conduct forestry they cannot conduct business or gaming activities they need to have a secure land base and until this uncertainty that the car tre decision has created is resolved what we’re concerned about is that more and more tribes are going to come to Congress looking for legislative solutions to this problem rather than going through the BIA application process how do you see that being resolved is there something that you look at and say this is going to have to be resolved here I think there’s a there there could be legislative solutions there could there could be court decisions that help resolve it but there are lots of different ways it can be resolved it’s a definitional issue we need to know what exactly does it mean by federal jurisdiction in 1934 so that could be resolved either in the courts or by Congress well the courts are down the street so we’ll have to resolve it with the legislative solutions here so I appreciate your testimony at lag time and other folks that are here and be very pleased they received you have additional comments and thoughts that you may have that you want to be able to submit to Congress for us to disperse two of the other other areas you have seven days to be able to get those things back to us so as things come up will be very pleased to be able to contact you with follow-up questions as they come from there I’m very grateful for your time and I apologize that we had a vote right of the mill of it much delayed the process we’re going with less traditional thoughts and comments on it this hearing is adjourned

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