Tipton Reintroduces Bill to Provide Certainty for Native American Indian Students

Here, from BBNA.  An excerpt:

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 — Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo. (3rd CD), issued the following news release:

Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) has reintroduced legislation in the House of Representatives to help Fort Lewis College and the State of Colorado cover tuition costs of qualifying Native American Indian students who receive federally-mandated free tuition at the college under a 1910 federal land grant. Tipton delivered the legislation today accompanied by Fort Lewis College President Dene Thomas and former United States Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell.

The Native American Indian Education Act would require the federal government to meet treaty obligations to help cover the tuition costs for out-of-state students. Currently, the State of Colorado has been left to cover the expense, which has significantly increased in recent years and is jeopardizing the future of the important program. The University of Minnesota, Morris has a similar mandate and would benefit from this legislation.

“The State of Colorado is currently forced to carry the weight of an unfunded federal mandate, which has created uncertainty for this vital program at Fort Lewis College that satisfies our nation’s treaty obligations and ensures that many talented and bright Native American Indian students have the opportunity to get a quality education,” Tipton said. “Should the state face a budget shortfall, this program could be at risk. Our legislation seeks to address this issue by requiring the federal government to fully live up to its obligation, easing the burden on Colorado taxpayers, and providing certainty for students at Fort Lewis and other impacted institutions.”

The bill, H.R. 1089 – To help fulfill the Federal mandate to provide higher education opportunities for Native Americans, can be seen here when it is posted.

Update: Utah Indian Education Bill – HB-0033

Utah Indian Education Bill HB-0033, titled American Indian Alaska Native Education, passed both the Utah House and Senate and is ready for the Governor’s signature.  We posted previously about HB-0033 here.  The version of the bill as passed can be seen here.

Highlighted Provisions:

This bill:

  • enacts a chapter providing for an American Indian-Alaskan Native Education State Plan, including:
    • defining terms;
    • providing the position of American Indian-Alaskan Native Public Education Liaison;
    • requiring reporting to the Native American Legislative Liaison Committee;
    • creating the American Indian-Alaskan Native Education Commission;
    • establishing the duties of the commission; and
    • providing for the adoption of a state plan to address the educational achievement gap of the state’s American Indian-Alaskan Native students; and
  •   makes technical and conforming amendments.

Uintah River High claims state basketball title with 6 players

From KSL.com here.  An excerpt:

FORT DUCHESNE, Uintah County — Shandon Sorensen had never even tried the shot in practice.

“I look at the clock and I see four seconds left,” Sorensen said Wednesday. “I just threw it up and I hoped it went in.”

The shot from two steps inside the halfcourt line dropped in, sending Sorensen and his Uintah River High School basketball team to the semifinals of the Utah School Sports Association playoffs with a 65-62 win over DaVinci Academy.

The Uintah River Warriors — playing with only six players — would finish the tournament with an undefeated record, beating Wasatch Academy 74-57 on Saturday to win their school’s first state championship in any sport.

. . . .

Sorensen also stressed mental toughness with his team, and the ability to overcome obstacles that seem insurmountable. He said he knows life for some of the 60 kids who attend Uintah River High is pretty tough. The Ute Indian reservation seems to have more than its share of poverty, crime and addiction, which can make failure seem inevitable.

“That’s already one strike against you,” Sorensen said. “So let’s get out there and prove that that’s not the case. Let’s go out there and prove that you are able to be successful.”

SCIA Presidential Budget Oversight Hearing

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held an Oversight Hearing on the President’s FY2016 Budget Request for Indian Programs.

The witnesses were:

The Honorable Kevin Washburn
Assistant Secretary- Indian Affairs-U.S. Department of the Interior
View Testimony

The Honorable Yvette Roubideaux
Senior Advisor to the Secretary on Native Americans and Alaskan Natives-U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
View Testimony

Mr. Rodger J. Boyd
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Native American Programs-U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
View Testimony

You can watch the hearing here, and an excerpt from Assistant Secretary Washburn:

In today’s global economy, a high quality education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity—it is a prerequisite to success.  President Obama set out a vision for a 21st century education system, grounded in both high academic standards and tribal values and traditions.  The Indian Affairs’ budget proposes a $1.0 billion investment in Indian education to support a comprehensive transformation of the Bureau of Indian Education.  The proposal recognizes the progress in self-governance in Indian education reflected in the fact Tribal Nations have contracted to run more than two-thirds of Federal Indian schools.