On March 25, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) led a bipartisan letter signed by over 20 lawmakers to President Joe Biden to urge his Administration to address the chronic federal shortfalls in funding identified by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) in its 2018 report, Broken Promises: Continuing Federal Funding Shortfall for Native Americans (“Broken Promises Report”).
“The Broken Promises Report highlights the Federal Government’s pervasive, continuous, and unconscionable failure to meet the trust responsibility it owes to Native American peoples and Tribes and demands a comprehensive and wholistic response,” wrote the lawmakers. “We are encouraged that you have already affirmed your commitment to “[fulfil] Federal trust and treaty responsibilities to Tribal Nations” through the Memorandum on Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships. We share your dedication and commitment to ensuring that the federal government acts on the recommendations outlined by the Commission in the Broken Promises Report so that we can finally fulfill our treaty and trust obligations to Native American communities.
They continued, “While we recognize that Congress is ultimately responsible for appropriating the necessary resources, your budget request will serve as an important foundation for those efforts and reaffirm your commitment to a whole-of-government approach to meeting our treaty and trust obligations. Therefore, we respectfully request that your FY 2022 budget request including the necessary funding increases to begin addressing the disparities outlined in the Broken Promises Report.”
The letter was also signed by U.S. Representatives Mike Simpson, Tom O’Halleran, David Joyce, Gwen Moore, Tom Cole, Greg Stanton, Marilyn Strickland, Alcee L. Hastings, Adam Smith, Sharice L. Davids, Suzan K. DelBene, Pramila Jayapal, Ruben Gallego, Rick Larsen, Betty McCollum, Kim Schrier, M.D., Jared Huffman, Raúl M. Grijalva, Don Young, and Daniel T. Kildee.
The full letter can be read here.