Last month I re-emphasized my support for amending the Stafford Act to allow federally recognized tribal governments to make a request directly to the President for a federal emergency or major disaster declaration. I specifically recommended to Congress that they take swift action to pass this legislation. If Congress passes and the President signs such legislation into law, my office will act promptly in the development of appropriate regulations and policies for implementation.
Today, I note the efforts Tribal leadership and organizations representing more than 300 tribes have made to actively engage with Congress. At this time, the following tribal organizations have written letters to Congress asking them to consider and pass the legislation that acknowledges the sovereignty of federally recognized tribes, the trust responsibility of the United States, enhances FEMA’s working relationship with tribal governments and improves emergency and disaster responsiveness throughout Indian Country.
- Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation
- Hopland Band of Pomo Indians
- Inter Tribal Emergency Response Commission
- Inter Tribal Council of Arizona
- Inter Tribal Council of Nevada
- Inter Tribal Long Term Recovery Foundation
- Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes
- National Congress for Indian Americans
- Northwest Tribal Emergency Management Council
- Pueblo of Acoma
- Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of The Duck Valley Indians Reservation
- Snoqualmie Indian Tribe
- Southern California Tribal Chairmen Association
- Sovereign Nation of Chitimacha
- Susanville Indian Rancheria
- The Navajo Nation
- Tuolumne Me-Wuk Tribal Council
- United South and Eastern Tribes
Meanwhile at FEMA, we will continue to reach out to stakeholders, both on and off Capitol Hill. We will continue with the purpose of educating decision makers on the importance passing this bill has to tribal communities, leaders, our government-to-government relationship and the emergency management team. More information is available at www.fema.gov/tribal.
Keep coming back to FEMA’s blog and I will keep you posted on the progress we make in these efforts.