During the first week of his presidency, Donald Trump signed an executive order calling for both the finishing of the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline and green-lighting the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, both of which had been strongly opposed by Tribal and 1st Nations. It was perhaps a signal from the Trump administration, and their policies to come, of a war on Native America that now includes a call for the elimination of numerous tribal programs.
On February 12th, the Trump administration released his proposed budget for the fiscal year 2019. While final say and approval over the budget sits with Congress, the President’s proposals are taken seriously by many members of Congress and send a strong signal for the planned direction the administration.
Programs slated for elimination:
- The Indian Community Development Block Grant program under the Department of Housing and Urban Development
- The Department of Labor’s Indian and Native American Program
- The Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program
- The Johnson O’Malley Program (Indian education funding)
- The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
Programs slated for reduction:
- The Native American Housing Block Program
- Programs under the Bureau of Indian Affairs slated for reductions include; Job Placement and Training, Social Services, Welfare Assistance, Rights Protection Implementation and the Division of Human Services’ office responsible for enforcing provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
Additional programs that are disproportionately serviced by Native families slated to receive cuts:
- The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps
In addition to the above assaults on Tribes, last year Trump also removed federal protections for the Bears Ears national monument and approved off-shore drilling along the east and west coasts. Both actions were, and are, heavily opposed by Tribal Nations.
by Wakíƞyaƞ Waánataƞ (Matt Remle- Lakota)