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National Wildlife Federation Applauds Passage of Bipartisan PROGRESS for Indian Tribes Act

Bill Reinforces, Strengthens Tribal Sovereignty, Self-Determination

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Wildlife Federation commended the U.S. House of Representative’s passage of the bipartisan PROGRESS for Indian Tribes Act. Introduced by Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.), this bill reinforces the trust responsibility the federal government has with Tribal Nations and upholds the commitment to Tribal sovereignty. The National Wildlife Federation urged the president to swiftly sign the bipartisan bill, which has passed both houses of Congress, into law.

“We fully support the reaffirmation of the federal government’s commitment to Tribal nations self-governance and determination,” said Garrit Voggesser, director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Tribal Partnerships Program. “This recognition of Tribal authority strengthens capacity to carry out on-the-ground work that conserves wildlife, habitat and natural resources on Tribal lands.”

The PROGRESS for Indian Tribes Act will:

  • Streamline the U.S. Department of the Interior's process for approving self-governance compacts and annual funding agreements for Indian programs.
  • Align the process used by the U.S. Department of the Interior to be similar to the processes used by the Indian Health Service.
  • Add more flexibility in administering contracts for Indian Tribes that either have not qualified for self-governance or have chosen to administer only a few Bureau of Indian Affairs programs.

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