Testimony

During the year, USET leadership steps to the microphone to advocate legislation on various issues, subjects, and initiatives.  Click on the year to view testimony made by USET leadership.

Topic Title
Budget USET SPF Testimony for the Record on FY 2020 House Interior Appropriations Budget 3.15.2019
SUMMARY: Federal appropriations for Indian programs are a key part of the federal government’s trust responsibility, yet funding continues to be so inadequate in relation to the trust and treaty obligation owed to Native communities by the United States. While we do not have the President’s full FY 2020 budget, what we do have paints a disturbing picture of an Administration that has largely deemed Indian Affairs and the federal government’s trust obligation to be of minimal significance, especially in contrast to its other priorities. The Administration continues to send a powerfully negative message to Indian Country. In reducing, eliminating, and calling into question the constitutionality of federal Indian programs, this Administration is ignoring and undermining its trust responsibility to Tribal Nations. Bottom line, strong and vibrant Tribal Nations, sovereigns that exist within the domestic borders of the United States, ultimately have a positive impact on America.
Environment USET SPF Testimony for the Record on Subcommittee for Indigenous People Hearing: The Impacts of Climate Change on Tribal Communities 2.26.2019
SUMMARY: The Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), published by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which acknowledges Indigenous peoples in the United States as, “diverse and distinct political and cultural groups and populations” and affirms that, “Though they may be affected by climate change in ways that are similar to others in the United States, Indigenous peoples can also be affected uniquely and disproportionately.” We highlight three “Key Messages” within the NCA4 regarding climate change impacts on Indigenous economies, health, and adaptation, and those impacts on USET SPF Member Tribal Nations. We further discuss that successful adaptation for USET SPF member Tribal Nations will rely on use of Indigenous knowledge, resilient and robust social systems and protocols, and a commitment to principles of self-determination. However, it will also require the acknowledgment from federal, state, and local governments that the impacts of early colonial and United States history have created many of the institutional barriers USET SPF member Tribal Nations face today in adapting to climate change.