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 January 10 and 11, 2011, USDA’s Office of Tribal Relations (OTR) visited Anchorage to conduct a consultation with Alaska Tribes on a wide range of subjects.
At the Consultation, OTR staff, and local and national agency officials met with representatives of Alaska’s Tribes for a discussion of programs and rules of four USDA agencies: Rural Development; Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Service; Farm Service Agency; and Natural Resource Conservation Service. Through this process, USDA was provided with valuable local insight, comments and recommendations concerning delivery of the Department’s programs to Alaska’s Native people. Much discussion related to the Substantially Underserved Trust Areas (SUTA) provision of the 2008 Farm Bill. Read more »
Throughout this year, USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) consulted with Tribes on the Substantially Underserved Trust Areas (SUTA) provision of the 2008 Farm Bill. This provision directed RUS to develop a strategy to deliver infrastructure program funding tailored and more affordable to the circumstances and challenges facing trust lands in high need of RUS’s electric, telecommunications and water and waste program funding. Second, the provision directed RUS to consult with local governments and Federal agencies in implementing this effort. Read more »