February 14, 2018

THIS WEEK: Udall to Lead Three Events on Education and Census Data in Indian Country

WASHINGTON — This week, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, will lead events on education in Indian Country and preside over a committee business meeting and an oversight hearing on improving census data in Indian Country. 
Today, February 14, at 1:30 p.m. ET, Udall will address the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) and discuss his work to improve education for Native students. Udall will outline his education-related priorities on the Senate Indian Affairs and Appropriations committees – including expanding Native language opportunities, providing additional support for teachers in Indian Country and securing greater funding for school construction and maintenance.
Also today at 12:30 p.m. MT / 2:30 p.m. ET, Udall will join Chairman John Hoeven (R-N.D.) in leading the oversight hearing, “Making Indian Country Count: Native Americans and the 2020 Census” to discuss the barriers to accurate census counts in Indian Country. In 2010, the census undercounted the American Indian and Alaska Native population by an estimated 5 percent. Tribal witnesses will testify on the far-reaching impacts that inaccurate counts have had on Tribal communities – including underrepresentation in voting districts and equitable allocation of federal funding. The hearing will be webcast live on the committee’s website: https://www.indian.senate.gov/.
Witnesses include:
Jefferson Keel, President, National Congress of American Indians, Washington, D.C. 
Carol Gore, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cook Inlet Housing Authority, Anchorage, Alaska 
James T. Tucker, Pro Bono Voting Rights Counsel, Native American Rights Fund, Las Vegas, Nev. 
Ron S. Jarmin, Acting Director, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, D.C. 
Immediately before the legislative hearing, the committee will vote on the following bills:
S. 995, Spokane Tribe of Indians of the Spokane Reservation Equitable Compensation Act
S. 1953, Tribal Law and Order Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2017
Udall will offer two amendments to S.1953. His first amendment would expand Tribal access to federal criminal databases to ensure Tribes can access needed criminal background check information for foster care placements and employment decisions. Udall’s second amendment would improve certain reporting requirements in the Tribal Law and Order Act to enhance Tribal input, create safeguards for Native human trafficking victim’s privacy, and examine educational opportunities available to incarcerated Native youth.
Then on Thursday at 10 a.m. ET, Udall will hold a listening session on Tribal higher education priorities to gather input from Tribal Colleges and Native college students in anticipation of the Senate’s reauthorization of the Higher Education Act and the Farm Bill.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
WHAT: Udall to address the National Indian Education Association 
TIME: Approximately 1:30 p.m. ET
WHERE: 385 Russell Senate Office Building. 
WHAT: Udall to preside as vice chairman at Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Business Meeting and Oversight Hearing
TIME: Approximately 12:30 p.m. MT / 2:30 p.m. ET
WHERE: 628 Dirksen Senate Office Building. Watch live here.
Thursday, February 15, 2018
 WHAT: Udall to hold a listening session on Tribal higher education priorities
TIME: 10 a.m. ET
WHERE: 628 Dirksen Senate Office Building.