When you woke up this morning, chances are you turned on a light, took a shower in your bathroom, brushed your teeth with running water and checked the Internet. For too many people in Indian Country, this simple daily process is currently unattainable. Services most Americans take for granted are not always available in Indian Country.
Last week, I joined other USDA officials in attending the National Congress of American Indians Convention in Lincoln, Nebraska. I discussed all of the remarkable progress that USDA and Secretary Vilsack have made when it comes to supporting Native Americans, especially those who live on reservations or trust areas. Read more »
On April 28, 2011, Fall River Students attended a special school assembly and were joined by Local, State and National Officials in a 2011 Earth Day Celebration. They honored their village’s new wastewater regionalization project, which was recently selected by USDA as a National 2011 Earth Day Project. When completed, the enhanced system will provide adequate wastewater treatment to the Village of Fall River; now and into the future; by preventing untreated seepage from the system into area ground water, nearby creek, and the Crawfish River.
The event included a formal program where USDA Wisconsin Rural Development State Director, Stan Gruszynski, presented the Village of Fall River with a National Earth Day Award, and announced that the Village had been approved for a $6.4 million Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant combination from USDA Rural Development. Funds will be used to upgrade and regionalize the village’s wastewater treatment system. Attendees were also treated to a performance by the Students, who sang Earth Day songs to kick-off the event. Read more »
Aroostook Band of Micmacs Cultural Director John Dennis performed a smudging ceremony for attendees at the Tribal Consultation. In the photo are John Dennis and USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel
Maine USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel welcomed the Deputy Administrator for Rural Utilities (RUS) Jessica Zufolo to Maine this week for an important tribal consultation meeting with leaders of Maine’s Native American tribes. Read more »
Pictured from the left are Reverend Clark Bates and wife, USDA Deputy Administrator for Rural Utilities Jessica Zufolo and former Administrator Chris McLean.
Jessica Zufolo, deputy administrator for the USDA Rural Utilities Service, was a guest speaker at the 75th anniversary of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) celebration in McCook, Nebraska late last month. Also attending were USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul, Colorado State Director Jim Isgar, and former Administrator for the Rural Utilities Service Chris McLean along with more than 100 attendees. McLean is a former Nebraskan. Read more »
Earth Day celebrations in both Rosebud and Porcupine, South Dakota, featured Jessica Zufolo, USDA Rural Development Deputy Administrator for Rural Utilities Programs. Zufolo was joined by the South Dakota Rural Development State Director Elsie M. Meeks and Area Director Tim Potts, along with representatives from Indian Health Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The celebration featured the announcement of a water and environmental project totaling $6.8 million to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and water and environmental project totaling $881,000 to the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Read more »