Category Archives: news
News Coverage: NCAI Announces First Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Allies, NCAI.org, June 12, 2019.
NCAI Announces First Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Allis
WASHINGTON, D.C. | Today, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is delighted to announce that Kevin Allis has accepted the role of its first Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In this role, Allis will be responsible for leading and managing all strategic and operational aspects of the organization while creating a vision for the future long-term success for NCAI and the NCAI Fund. Allis will report directly to the NCAI Executive Committee.
Allis, a member of the Forest County Potawatomi Community, comes to NCAI with demonstrated leadership within the government relations industry where he spent time building strong working relationships with key congressional offices, relevant administrative agencies, and other advocacy organizations, to strategically advance top priorities for Indian Country. Kevin’s previous roles include Executive Director of the Native American Contractors Association, Board Chairman of the Potawatomi Business Development Corporation, and founder of Thunderbird Strategies, LLC, a government relations firm specializing in advocacy of Native American rights. Allis is also an attorney and former law enforcement officer who served the Baltimore Police Department for 8 years.
“NCAI, in its 75 years, has defined, defended, and continues to champion efforts to promote Native resiliency and tribal sovereignty. I am sincerely humbled by the honor to lead this organization, and appreciate the opportunity and challenge to continue the great work of this historic organization in strengthening tribal sovereignty and safeguarding our traditions and customs for generations to come,” stated Allis.
The NCAI Executive Committee interviewed several well-qualified candidates for the CEO position. “As we embark on a new chapter with the hiring of our first CEO, we are pleased to welcome Kevin Allis to the National Congress of American Indians. We are fortunate to benefit from Kevin’s considerable expertise and look forward to working together to protect and advance tribal sovereignty,” said NCAI President, Jefferson Keel, of the Executive Committee’s selection of Mr. Allis. “We look forward to formally introducing our new CEO at NCAI’s Mid Year Conference and Marketplace, June 24-27 in Sparks, Nevada.”
About The National Congress of American Indians:
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information visit www.ncai.org.
- Enacting a Tribal code for creating corporations and other business entities
- Choosing a structure that best serves your business needs
- Obtaining Tribal 8(a) certification and status
- Forming a business under appropriate law
- Seeking joint venture partners
- Understanding government regulations and impact on business
- Contacting the federal government procurement offices.
This week the Tribal Interior Budget Council met here in D.C. at the Washington Plaza Hotel. The focus was on the President’s budget and the elimination of several key Tribal programs (as we reported in our last update). After the Government Shutdown and the compromise on the budget in January 2019, the Bureau of Indian Affairs in general did not fare as badly in comparison to some departments. However, Indian Affairs still suffered losses that could have been avoided if the budget compromise had gone though as planned when the US Senate voted unanimously in September 2018 to keep the government open. For example, Tribal road maintenance would have increased prior to the shut down by more than $4 million. After the shutdown the increase was only $1 million. The President’s proposed 2020 budget eliminates, Indian Guaranteed loans, Tribal Scholarships, and Housing (HIP) programs, and decreases funding for many other programs, such as the Indian Child Welfare Act, Mineral and Mining projects, public safety and education construction, and funds for small and needy tribes. see budget comparison
Tribal leaders focused on other priority issue at the conference, such as land into trust, the Bureau of Indian Education funding and programs, and Transportation and road maintenance funding. The question is whether the Tribes have the clout to get Congress to ensure key Tribal programs and funding is protected and increased.
On Thursday, the US Senate confirmed David Bernhardt as the new Secretary of the Interior. The vote was largely along party lines 56 to 41, some Democrats pointed out the contradiction with Trump’s administration to “drain the swamp” of those insiders in Washington who take over key appointed positions for their own gain. Bernhardt, is a former industry lobbyist for Oil and the Agribusiness, and now sits a top an agency that governs and regulates mineral rights and leases. Bernhardt, who has played a major role in designing the President’s policies for expanding drilling and mining, will now serve over 500 million acres of public land and vast coastal waters. However, Secretary Bernhardt is also known for imposing more ethical standards at the Department of the Interior, after scandals during the Bush Administration. And he certainly has experience with Department programs. He served as the Deputy Secretary under Zinke and was Acting Secretary until his recent appointment this week. See New York Times Article
The House and Senate have been on break and will return to session on March 25th. Before break and at field hearings, they were busy with hearings on important criminal justice topics; stopping drugs from entering Indian Country, reauthorizing of the Violence Against Women Act, and the crisis on Murder and Missing Indigenous Women.
On March 11, 2019, the President released his fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget request to Congress. The budget proposes cutting FY 2020 non-defense discretionary funding by $54 billion (9 percent) below the FY 2019 level, and by $69 billion (11 percent) after adjusting for inflation. The proposed budget would cut the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education (BIA/BIE) by about 10.5 percent compared to the 2019 continuing resolution level.
Other agencies would see cuts including 12 percent for the Department of Health and Human Services, 18 percent for Housing and Urban Development, and 31 percent for the Environmental Protection Agency. The Indian Health Service budget request for FY 2020 is $5.9 billion, which is $392 million or 7 percent above FY 2019.
Bureau of Indian Education Eliminations
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Eliminations
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Eliminations
U.S. Department of Education Eliminations
USET and other organization are asking for help lobbying for tribal consultation on the changes to Medicare and Medicaid funding to Indian country. The rules have changed that leave it to State’s to set work requirements for eligibility for Medicaid funding through the 1115 waiver process. This could severely impact Indian Health service funding. Therefore AI/AN Medicaid recipients must be made exempt from these barriers to accessing the health care to which they are entitled, and CMS has a duty to ensure that this occurs as a part of the waiver process. Medicaid currently represents 67% of 3rd party revenue at IHS, and 13% of overall IHS spending. Tribal organization are advocating that any proposed changes to the administration of Medicaid must be preceded by comprehensive consultation with Tribal Nations. Currently, the 1115 waiver process requires that states engaged in Tribal Consultation prior to submission of 1115 Demonstrations to CMS. CMS must ensure Tribal consultation with Tribal Nations occurs at both the state and federal levels before state waiver applications can proceed.
No doubt you have heard the news about the CEO and founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerburg testifying on Capitol Hill, and explaining why he didn’t protect his Facebook subscribers from privacy breaches and those that promote false and fake news. Well Indian Country is not exempt. See Washington Post Article:
Well fake news happens about Indian Country too. An article has been circulating on Facebook in recent weeks you may have seen published on May 5, with the headline, “In Victory for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Court Finds That Approval of Dakota Access Pipeline Violated the Law”. That article was cut and pasted from an article a year ago. A Vietnamese site claiming to be about Native American affairs has recycled the story to gin up clicks and advertising revenue. For some reason news about the Standing Rock reservation and Native American affairs in general have become a favorite niche of foreign-run Facebook pages and websites. If you see a news report about these topics pop up in your newsfeed, always check if you are looking at an original source before liking, sharing or commenting: it could be you are looking at old news being repackaged and fed back into your news stream by some guy in Macedonia or Kosovo wanting to make a few quick bucks.