Apply for the BIA Water Resources Technician Training Program The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Trust Services is now accepting applications from Native American high school graduates interested in the BIA Water Resources Technician Training Program.

The Water Resources Technician Training Program is an intensive four-week block of instruction. Classes meet six days per week. The coursework exposes students to a broad array of subjects, ranging from basic surface and ground water hydrology; dam operations, maintenance, safety, and hydro-power; flood control structures; analysis of hydrologic data, groundwater movement and modeling; basic pipe and culvert design; drinking water and waste water treatment plant operations among other key issues. Students spend a portion of their time acquiring hands-on experience in the field.

Applications are due Monday, May 4, 2015. To learn more about the program and its requirements,
click here.

DEADLINE APPROACHING: 2015 Welfare Assistance Distribution Methodology

On Friday, February 27, 2015, Assistant Secretary Washburn approved the 2015 Welfare Assistance Distribution Methodology. Under the approved methodology, the amount of 2015 Welfare Assistance funding to be provided to a Tribe is based on the amount of 2014 expenditures reported on its 2014 Financial Assistance and Social Services Report (FASSR) and Narrative Report.

The deadline to complete and submit the FASSR is Monday, April 13, 2015. To review the Report and associated instructions, click here.


LEGISLATIVE ALERT: DEFAZIO AND YOUNG INTRODUCE SELF-GOVERNANCE TRANSPORTATION BILL

On Wednesday, February 25, 2015, Congressmen Young (R-AK) and DeFazio (D-OR) introduced HR 1068, a bill to amend title 23, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Transportation to carry out a Tribal transportation Self-Governance program, and for other purposes. The bill reflects the consensus proposal recommended by Tribes in the Tribal Transportation Unity Act. This amendment would significantly increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the Federal transportation funding that is directed towards Tribal lands. Currently, the Indian Reservation Roads funding is funneled through the Bureau of Indian Affairs at six percent of the funding is taken for Federal administrative costs. Direct funding from the Department of Transportation to Tribal governments will end this inefficiency and allow Tribes to build and improve more of the transportation network.

Earlier in the day, Congressman DeFazio, spoke passionately at the National Congress of American Indians about his support for the expansion of Self-Governance to the Department of Transportation (DOT) to strengthen transportation programs at a local level. This legislation is a significant further step in the direction that Tribal Self-Governance leaders have been urging the Congress to move for many years.

Action Requested:
During the recent Self-Governance Tribal Strategic Planning Session held in January 2015, Self-Governance Tribes identified the extension of Self-Governance into DOT as one of their top legislative priorities. Self-Governance Tribes are asked to urge their Congressional members to support or co-sponsor HR 1068.

You can find the legislation here.

For more information about the Self-Governance expansion to the Department of Transportation,
click here.


IHS Announces Tribal Self-Governance Funding Opportunities for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Planning & Negotiation Cooperative Agreements

Application Deadline: Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Review Date: Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Contact: Jeremy Marshall (Jeremy.Marshall@ihs.gov), Policy Analyst, OTSG • Phone: (301) 443-7821

Background: The FY 2015 Planning and Negotiation Cooperative Agreements were published in the Federal Register on Friday, February 20. Title V of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA) provides the Office of Tribal Self-Governance (OTSG) statutory authority to offer Planning and Negotiation Cooperative Agreements. These funding opportunities assist Tribes in planning and negotiations activities associated with the Indian Health Service (IHS) Tribal Self-Governance Program (TSGP). A Cooperative Agreement is a form of grant, and all of the same requirements and procedures apply; however Cooperative Agreements involve much more substantive Federal program specific involvement than a grant.


Planning Cooperative Agreement (HHS-2015-IHS-TSGP-0001) – Five awards are available for $120,000 each. (Link)

Purpose: Provides resources to Tribes interested in entering the TSGP and existing Self-Governance Tribes interested in assuming new or expanded Programs, Services, Functions and Activities (PSFAs). Title V of the ISDEAA requires that a Tribe or Tribal Organization complete a planning phase to the satisfaction of the Tribe. The planning phase must include legal and budgetary research and internal Tribal government planning and organization preparation relating to the administration of health care programs. The planning phase helps Tribes to make informed decisions about which PSFAs to assume and what organizational changes or modifications are necessary to successfully support those PSFAs.


Negotiation Cooperative Agreement (HHS-2015-IHS-TSGN-0001) – Five awards are available for $48,000 each. (Link)

Purpose: Provides Tribes with resources to help defray the costs related to preparing for and conducting TSGP negotiations. The design of the negotiation process: 1) enables a Tribe to set its own priorities when assuming responsibility for IHS PSFAs, 2) observes the government-to-government relationship between the United States and each Tribe, and 3) involves the active participation of both Tribal and IHS representatives, including the OTSG. Negotiations provide an opportunity for the Tribal and Federal negotiation teams to work together in good faith to enhance each Self-Governance agreement.

Resources:
IHS Division of Grants Management (Link)

IHS Office of Tribal Self-Governance (Link)


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PO Box 1734
McAlester, OK 74501
Phone: (918) 302-0252 - Fax: (918) 423-7639

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