HJR 17: Urging the Alaska delegation in Congress to repeal the federal law that prohibits funds under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act from being used for education by tribes in the state.
00 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 17 01 Urging the Alaska delegation in Congress to repeal the federal law that prohibits funds 02 under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act from being used for 03 education by tribes in the state. 04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 WHEREAS indigenous peoples have occupied ancestral land in the state for over 06 10,000 years, have long governed themselves, have provided for their own health, welfare, 07 and education, and have never relinquished the will or desire to continue to do the same for 08 the next 10,000 years; and 09 WHEREAS the United States has declared its desire to maintain the relationship 10 between the federal government and American Indian tribes through the enactment of the 11 Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (P.L. 93-638), as amended, and by 12 that Act declared it to be the policy of the United States to further American Indian tribes' 13 exercise of self-determination; and 14 WHEREAS the relationship between the state government and tribes in the state has 15 evolved since statehood; and
01 WHEREAS, according to an October 19, 2017, attorney general opinion by former 02 Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth, tribes in the state have "the same status as tribes in the 03 contiguous 48 states"; and 04 WHEREAS building and maintaining a respectful and strong relationship between the 05 state government and tribes in the state is a priority of the state government, as evidenced by 06 the formation of the House Special Committee on Tribal Affairs by the Thirty-First Alaska 07 State Legislature; and 08 WHEREAS, in 2013, the Alaska Federation of Natives passed a resolution 09 "Promoting Tribally-operated schools and culturally-appropriate education opportunities for 10 the state's Native youth by re-establishing Bureau of Indian Education Funding in Alaska"; 11 and 12 WHEREAS, before 229 tribes in the state became federally recognized, and despite 13 the stated policy of self-determination for tribes in the delivery of education to their children, 14 the United States Congress, through a supplemental appropriations bill and what is known as 15 the "Stevens rider," effectively prohibited funds under the Indian Self-Determination and 16 Education Assistance Act (P.L. 93-638) from being used for education by tribes in the state; 17 and 18 WHEREAS the Stevens rider, codified at 25 U.S.C. 292b, states, "The Bureau of 19 Indian Affairs shall not expend any other funds for the operation of any secondary education 20 program or facility in the State of Alaska after June 30, 1983: Provided, that while 21 consultation concerning day school transfers to the State of Alaska will continue with affected 22 villages, concurrence is not required in this continuing effort to establish a single system of 23 education envisioned by the State's constitution: Provided further, that after June 30, 1984, the 24 Bureau of Indian Affairs shall fund no more than ten day schools in Alaska: Provided further 25 that $9,350,000 of such amount shall be available until expended for transfer to the State of 26 Alaska to assist in the rehabilitation or reconstruction of Bureau-owned schools which are 27 transferred to the State: Provided further, That the $9,350,000 appropriated in Public Law 97- 28 394 available to the State of Alaska to assist in the rehabilitation of Bureau-owned schools 29 which are transferred to the State may also be used for reconstruction: Provided further, That 30 when any Alaska day school operated by contract is transferred, the State shall assume any 31 existing contract pertaining to the operation or maintenance of such school for a minimum of
01 two years or until the expiration of the negotiated contract, whichever comes first: Provided 02 further, That nothing in the foregoing shall preclude assistance otherwise available under the 03 Act of April 16, 1934 (48 Stat. 596) as amended (25 U.S.C. 452 et seq.), or any other Act to 04 such schools on the same basis as other public schools"; and 05 WHEREAS 25 U.S.C. 292b restricts tribes in the state from benefitting from 06 educational programs that are authorized in the rest of the United States, prevents tribes in the 07 state from fully exercising their self-determination and self-governance established under the 08 Federal Recognition and the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (P.L. 09 93-638), as amended, effectively blocks federal dollars from coming into the state, is 10 discriminatory, and violates the trust between the United States and indigenous peoples in the 11 state; and 12 WHEREAS the discrimination caused by 25 U.S.C. 292b has hindered the ability of 13 tribes in the state to access federal dollars that would enable the tribes to fully develop 14 educational programs to enhance and transform the disproportionately negative educational 15 outcomes that Native students in the state currently experience in the public education system; 16 and 17 WHEREAS Alaska Natives experienced discrimination in health care before the 18 passage of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (P.L. 93-638), as 19 amended, and through that Act the Native Tribal health system in the state has been able to 20 completely transform health care delivery, access, and outcomes across the state, becoming a 21 flagship health care system in the state and globally; and 22 WHEREAS tribes in the state and the state government would like to learn from and 23 build on the health care successes that resulted from passage of the Indian Self-Determination 24 and Education Assistance Act (P.L. 93-638), as amended, and use this knowledge to improve 25 educational outcomes; 26 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the Alaska delegation in 27 Congress to take immediate action to repeal the federal appropriations prohibition known as 28 the "Stevens rider," codified at 25 U.S.C. 292b, which prohibits funds under the Indian Self- 29 Determination and Education Assistance Act (P.L. 93-638) from being used for education by 30 tribes in the state. 31 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the
01 Honorable Dan Sullivan, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, 02 members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.