Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I am pleased to
present the President's budget request of $38,382,000 for Fiscal
Year (FY) 1997 for the Administration for Native Americans (ANA).
This funding level reflects the Administration's strong
to address the crucial issues that confront Indian Tribes and
Native American organizations. We are continuing our efforts to
strengthen the programs within ANA to support this commitment.
ANA programs are the only Federal programs serving all
Americans regardless of where they live or their tribal or group
affiliation. These programs provide financial assistance for
social and economic development and governance; training and
technical assistance; research and demonstration and evaluation
projects. ANA serves over 520 federally-recognized Tribes
(including over 200 Alaska village governments), about 60 Tribes
that are State-recognized or seeking Federal recognition, Indian
and Alaska Native organizations, Native Hawaiian communities, and
Native populations throughout the Pacific Basin.
ANA's funding policy is to assist Indian tribes and Native
American organizations to plan and implement their own long-term
strategies for social and economic development. This funding
policy is based on the premise that the local Native American
community has the primary responsibility for determining its own
needs, planning and implementing its own programs, and building
economic base from its own natural, physical and human resources.
This approach moves the focus from increasing dependency on
Federal social services programs to increasing the productivity
and independence of both individuals and local communities.
The FY 1997 budget request will allow ANA to continue
efforts to enhance economic security and independence of Native
Americans at the community level through implementation of the
three major ANA program goals:
Self-governance - by strengthening Tribal
governments, Native American institutions and local leadership to assure local
control over all resources;
- Economic development - by fostering the
development of stable, diversified local economies to provide jobs and reduce
dependency on welfare services; and,
- Social development - by supporting local access to,
and coordination of, services and programs which safeguard the health
and well-being of Native Americans.
Specifically, ANA's self-governance projects involve the
development of new and existing tribal constitutions and by-laws,
as well as the establishment of tribal zoning, tax, environmental
and other codes. These governance projects assist in creating a
stable climate and the necessary legal infrastructure for
villages and reservations thus encouraging economic development and
investment. For example, the Santa Ana Pueblo project in New
Mexico is underway to enhance the biological quality of the Santa
Ana and Rio Grande Forest ecosystems through development of an
integrated resource management and geographic information system
for those areas under the jurisdiction of the tribe.
Status clarification is another important step towards
self-governance and economic and social development. ANA funds
projects which assist Tribes, Indian groups and villages to
petition for Federal recognition. Subsequently, successful
groups obtain assistance and resources from the Bureau of Indian Affairs
and health and environmental services from the Indian Health
Service and other Federal agencies. A project with the Caddo
Adais Indians, a non-federally recognized Indian tribe located in
Robeline, Louisiana, will assist the tribe in researching and
implementing a computerized genealogical system to help them
during the Federal acknowledgment process.
In addition, grants made under the Native American
Languages program help to ensure the preservation and enhancement of native
languages. The native language program brings older and younger
Native Americans together to facilitate the transfer of native
language skills to future generations. This program also helps
train Native Americans to teach, interpret, and translate native
languages, and to compile, transcribe and analyze oral testimony
to record and preserve these native languages. Under this grant
authority, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe of Washington will
to develop a language interface for computers to be used in
language immersion programs for adults and students on the
Finally, grants made under the Indian Environmental and
Regulatory Enhancement program enable tribes to plan, develop and
implement programs designed to improve tribal capabilities to
regulate environmental quality on Indian lands, in accordance
Federal and tribal laws. This environmental program also
financial assistance to Tribal and Alaska village governments to
develop local environmental programs that respond to tribal
environmental needs and goals. In Arizona, the White Mountain
Apache Tribe will develop and revise existing ordinances and
guidelines in critical, program areas, including wetlands
conservation, sensitive plant and animal species protection,
quality protection and protection of sites which are of high
cultural and aesthetic value to the tribe. The project also will
include development of a tribal review process to ensure that all
future projects undertaken on the reservation will receive a
thorough review by the tribe.
Before closing, I would like to discuss briefly the
the numerous short-term Continuing Resolutions (CRs) and the two
Federal Government closures, as requested by the Committee in
invitation letter. There have been many hours of lost work as a
result of the two shutdowns and the multiple short-term CRs have
created on-going confusion, uncertainty and anxiety for ANA and
the Indian tribes and Native American organizations we serve.
Fortunately, because of the funding cycles used by ANA, none of
the funding for our programs has been directly affected yet.
In conclusion, I want to reiterate the Administration's
commitment to continue to build on our successes in working with
Native American communities to achieve self-sufficiency by
encouraging local strategies in economic and social development.
I look forward to working closely with this Committee so we can
continue the progress on this important work.
I would be happy to answer any questions at this time.