Our Work

FCNL’s Native American advocacy program offers the support of an enduring ally, pointing to opportunities for investment that the federal government might overlook or underfund, and providing information, where possible, on the continuing struggles of native peoples.

This work takes us into all of the issue areas encountered by any government: land and borders; environment, energy, and natural resources; economic development; care for the safety and well-being of tribal citizens; and investment in the future through health and education.

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Sign up for monthly updates on legislation and congressional action regarding Native American affairs.


Watching Congress: Selected Bills of Interest in Indian Country - 114th Congress

Formerly known as "Native American Bills We're Watching" this list includes and describes many -- but by no means all -- bills pertaining to Indian Country, both tribes and individuals. The bills are organized by topic, and each description includes a link to the bill itself, and to related update stories, if any.

Native American Children's Commission Moving Forward

Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota is celebrating the passage in both House and Senate of her bill (S. 246) calling for the creation of a national commission on Native Children. The Commission will explore the range of challenges affecting Native children, and the patchwork of services made available through various federal departments. The objective is to develop a comprehensive and coordinated response that will provide effective support to Native children on reservations and in cities.

See Senator Heitkamp's announcement of the bill's passage in the House.

"Bears Ears" and the Utah Public Lands Initiative

Two of Utah's Representatives, Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz, have completed a comprehensive piece of legislation (H.R. 5780) offering some protections to 18 million acres of land in Southeastern Utah. Rep. Bishop, chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, crafted a compromise bill in the hope that it would please everyone. The result, however, includes a lot of changes in current law and understandings: reservation land that is not reserved, wilderness study areas with new roads going through, conservation areas that allow oil drilling and mining.

See some of the key concerns raised by members of the Natural Resources committee here.

Dakota Access Pipeline Protest

The news has been moving fast -- but one very hopeful recent development holds some promise for a positive outcome.

Read an update on the story here.


Economic Development - Two Approaches

Economic development in Indian Country can be frustrated by geography, resources, access to capital, and a particularly complex legal and regulatory environment. The Senate Committee passed two bills in September that take two different -- and complementary -- approaches to meeting some of these challenges.

Read about new access to capital and support for Indian entrepreneurs here.

Federal Sentencing Reform and Indian Country

Native Americans are disproportionately represented in federal courts and federal prisons. Reforms in sentencing laws could benefit Indian Country.

Read here about how federal sentencing reform can help balance the scales for Native Americans.

FCNL Statement of Legislative Policy

"Federal policies and laws must conform to the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and recognize that Native Americans, Native Hawaiians and Alaska Natives retain aboriginal rights. Treaties and trust agreements contain solemn and binding promises that must be honored. Tribal police and courts should have primary authority over all criminal activity on reservation lands."

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Meet Our Lobbyist

Ruth Flower leads our Native American advocacy program.

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© 2016 FCNL | 245 Second St, NE, Washington, DC 20002 202-547-6000 | Toll Free 800-630-1330

© 2016 FCNL | 245 Second St, NE, Washington, DC 20002 202-547-6000 | Toll Free 800-630-1330