Self-Governance Tribes closely follow the Federal budget development and Congressional appropriations process from beginning to end, searching for opportunities to improve the economic and social well being of Tribal communities. Changes or instability in appropriations for the Department of the Interior and the Indian Health Service set off a ripple effect for Self-Governance programs who’s successes support and influence local economies. As such, Self-Governance Tribes set forth a series of budget priorities that balance treaty and trust responsibilities with desired outcomes and goals for Tribal citizens locally.

Download the full version of the National Tribal Self-Governance 2017-2019 Strategic Plan & Priorities to review other budget related priorities and strategy.

Restore FY 2013 sequestration cuts and exempt Tribal funding from future sequesters.

Tribal governments experienced heavy budgetary cuts as a result of the 2012 sequester. These cuts affect direct services to Tribal citizens, which include, but are not limited to, public safety, social welfare, and health care services. As Congressional members debate the FY 2018 appropriations, Self-Governance Tribes first, urge Congress to restore Tribal funding cuts and, second, to uphold the Tribal trust responsibility and amend the Budget Control Act of 2011 to exempt Tribal funding from future sequesters.

Preserve authority to include one-time or short-term resources in Self-Governance Funding Agreements.

Self-Governance Tribes have noticed a troubling trend that DOI is moving one-time funding opportunities to grants that are restrictive in nature – undermining core Self-Governance tenants. This trend allows DOI to heavily regulate the administration of Tribal programs and prevents grants from being transferred through Self-Governance Agreements, which in turn, hinders Tribal governments’ ability to re-design programs to better meet the needs at the local level and impedes economic self-sufficiency.

Enact Advanced Appropriations for the Indian Health Service.

Since FY 1998, there has been only one year (FY 2006) when the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies budget, which contains the funding for IHS, has been enacted by the beginning of the fiscal year. Late funding creates significant challenges to Tribes and IHS budgeting, recruitment, retention, provision of services, facility maintenance, and construction efforts. Providing sufficient, timely, and predictable funding is needed to ensure the federal government meets its obligation to provide health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Enacting advanced appropriations will provide more stable funding and sustainable planning for the entire system by appropriating funding two years in advance.

Download Supporting White Papers

Policy priorities and goals do not often change, but strategy to implement the priorities change as external decisions are made, new data is reported, or progress is reported.  The White Papers below provide the most up-to-date administrative and legislative actions as well as new strategy ideas.  Click the hyperlinks to download and share the White Papers.

Analysis of DOI Budget Equity for Self-Governance Tribes

2014 IHS Budget Summit Recommendations

Advanced Appropriations