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page 8/recommendations, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
29. The Tribe recommends the Office of Indian Education be instructed
to adhere to Part B, Title IV intent of preference to tribes based
on need rather than the actual practice of looking at other federal
funding dollars available (to the Tribes) and basing grant
allocation on the federal funding dollar information.
30. For all appropriate sections (a, B and C), the Office of Indlan
Education be directed to disseminate proposal approvals and dis
approvals procedures to Indian tribes and organizations and through
the Federal Register in order to document proper procedures are
followed at the Washington office for proposal cycles. Appeal procedures ought to be clearly defined. If no appeal procedures exist the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe recommends appeal procedures
31. The Tribe recommends that teh SEA, LEA level and where appropriate
other government levels be instructed to show the actual benefits
each organization receives from the Indian children body count. Comparison ought to be made with these actual dollars brought in
by Indian children to the tax dollar brought by non-Indian children.
The dollars go allocated ought to show total budget breakdown
THE FOLLOWING IS A SUMMARY OF THE COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, AND
WE FEEL THE EXPANSION OF THE REGULATIONS TO INCLUDE EDUCATIONAL
"PREVIOUSLY PRIVATE SCHOOLS" AND BOARDING SCHOOLS
HOOD" IS TOO BROAD A DEFINITION, INAS MUCH AS THE EDUCATION FUNDS
SECTION 403.13. WE OBJECT TO THE INCLUSION OF "OPERATIONAL SUP-
SECTION 403.31. WE MOST STRENOUSLY DISAGREE AND OBJECT TO THAT
IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT UNDER SECTION 403.31 FUNDS WITHIN EACH
THIS DISTRIBUTION PATTERN IS CONSIDERED TO BE MORE REALISTIC
403.16 (b) (2), (3), and (4). WE BELIEVE THESE PROVISIONS ARE
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION ON THESE MATTERS,
MAXINE EDMO, CHAIRPERSON
CC: SUZAN HARJO, NCA I
COALITION OF INDIAN
Senator ABOUREZK. Mr. Parker.
STATEMENT OF ALAN PARKER Mr. PARKER. Mr. Chairman, the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act has been widely recognized as an outstanding effort on the part of the 93d Congress and particularly this subcommittee to strengthen the processes of self-government of Indian tribes. We feel that the Bureau of Indian Affairs has made a sincere and commendable effort to secure the input of Indian tribes and organizations in the drafting of regulations to implement this act. In general, these regulations reflect that input and that effort. Most assuredly there are problems with these regulations and we intend to address some of these problems in testimony this morning. However, we wish to point out that we recognize the amount of time and effort expended by the BIA staff in drafting what is overall an exceptable set of regulations to implement an excellent piece of legislation.
In our judgment, if the Indian Self-Determination Act is to be successfully implemented through it, the most important issue to be considered is not directly related to the regulations themselves, but is nevertheless of the most crucial importance at this time. We are referring, of course, to the level of funding available to the Federal agencies to put this legislation into effect. While we acknowledge that this subcommittee is not charged with an appropriation function, nevertheless, we would suggest that it is quite appropriate for the subcommittee to concern itself with the administration's budgetary plans for implementing this committee's legislation.
Senator ABOUREZK. I might remind you that this subcommittee has no authorization or authority over the implementation of these plans. All we have is oversight authority by virtue of the Act of November 2, 1921, 48 Stat. 596, which gave the Bureau of Indian Affairs an open ended budget authorization. The only committee they really have to go to now is the appropriations committee. They don't have to appear before this committee for their appropriations.
Mr. PARKER. I am aware of that, Mr. Chairman, and I was about to suggest that next week, when you have the opportunity to question administration witnesses, that both the Interior Department and OMB fiscal plans for implementing the regulation be scrutinized to the extent you feel it would be appropriate and within the jurisdiction of your committee.
With respect to section 104 of the act, grants to Indian tribal organizations, we note that subsection (C) specifies that “funds made available to tribal organizations under this section may be used as matching shares for any other Federal grant programs which contribute to the purposes for which grants under this section are made." This section is implemented by section 402.12, purposes of grants, and section 402.33, matching shares, of the proposed regulations.
The American Indian Law Center of Albuquerque, N. Mex., has been involved in a study entitled “Federal Indian Domestic Assistance Programs” (FIDAP) for the purpose of establishing the precise legislative barriers which may exist or which have been interpreted to limit tribal participation in Federal domestic assistance programs. The focus of this study has been on congressional legislative
eligibility requirements. The FIDAP study research findings will be made available to tribes: (1) To increase tribal participation overall in Federal domestic assistance programs; and (2) particularly as a strategy to open up such programs for tribal participation. The FIDAP study has established that approximately $48 billion is appropriated annually for Federal domestic assistance programs, and it is clear that the potential for tribal participation in these previously closed programs, or programs previously closed to tribes, will be immeasurably increased if section 104 grant funds are available for matching purposes at a realistic level.
We have a checklist of regulation provisions about which we have questions or comments. I will briefly indicate those particular points and come back and try and address some comments to each of them.
First of all, there is section 401.2, the definition provision and the issue of a definition of a trust responsibility. Sections 401.18 through 401.21, the role of the tribal council in reviewing and approving contract applications by tribal organizations. Section 401.74, the reassumption provision and particularly the definition of violation of rights. Section 401.54 and appendix A to section 406, part 2, No. 16, attorney fees. Section 401.49 sub C, the monthly reporting requirements imposed upon tribal governments. Section 401.81, the hearing procedures and section 401.74, retrocession.
Prior to going into any detailed discussion of these points, there are a few in general, budgetary or fiscal questions which are not clarified at all in the regulations as far as we were concerned. These questions are primarily in two different areas.
No. 1, the regulations do not give any hint as to the relationship between contract funds, or funds made available for contracts and the band analysis system presently utilized by the Bureau. We feel that tribal governments who are anticipating or planning to enter into contracts should be informed by the administration just what is the relationship between the present band analysis system which the administration utilizes and the plans for funding contracts.
The other general budgetary question that we feel is left unclarified as far as regulations are concerned is the relationship between presently existing funding levels on a line item basis which have been used to define the level of services which are provided and funding levels which will be imposed upon contracts under this act.
Returning to our checklist of provisions about which we had questions, definition of trust responsibility. This is defined in section 401.2. Initially, when NCAI and other members of the task force analyzed the definition of trust responsibility in the proposed regulations, we were dismayed by its seemingly narrow focus and negative interest. We felt that, insofar as the act itself called upon the administration to come forth with a definition of trust responsibility, that this should not be the opportunity for a narrow legalistic definition.
However, upon reconsideration and analysis of the purposes for which this definition is offered, we feel that the narrowly defined definition offered in the regulations is acceptable if it is understood as being for the limited and technical purposes only of indicating that set of functions
Senator ABOUREZK. Do you have an alternative definition that you are suggesting?