President Clinton and Vice President Gore:
to Native Americans In the FY2001 Budget
February 7, 2000
Updated February 6, 2000
"I also . . . [want] to make special efforts to address the areas of
our nation with the highest rates of poverty -- our Native American
reservations and the Mississippi Delta. My budget includes . . . a
billion dollars to increase economic opportunity, health care, education
and law enforcement for our Native American communities. In this new
century -- we should begin this new century by honoring our historic
responsibility to empower the first Americans. And I want to thank
tonight the leaders and the members from both parties who've expressed
to me an interest in working with us on these efforts. They are
President Bill Clinton
State of the Union
January 27, 2000
In order to better serve Native American communities and to honor the
federal government's trust responsibility to tribes, the President's
budget includes a total of $9.4 billion for key new and existing
programs that assist Native Americans and Indian reservations. This
total is an increase of $1.2 billion over Fiscal Year 2000 - the largest
increase ever. This initiative brings together several agencies in
order to address the needs of Native American communities
comprehensively. Some of the highlights include: $300 million for
Bureau of Indian Affairs school construction and repair; $349 million
through the Department of Transportation for roads in Indian Country;
and $2.6 billion for the Indian Health Service. Other key components of
the Native American initiative are:
Budget Initiatives for Native Americans:
Investing in Education and Training.
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) School Construction and Repair. The
President has proposed $300 million, more than double the FY 2000
enacted level of $133 million, to replace and repair BIA-funded
schools on reservations. This is the largest investment ever in a
single year for BIA school construction and repair. Of these funds,
$126 million would be used to assist in replacing at least six of the
185 BIA-funded schools on reservations. The remaining $174 million
would provide for much-needed health and safety-related repairs and
improvements that together comprise a roughly $700 million backlog.
Within the BIA's school construction funds, up to $30 million may
used to assist tribes or tribal consortia in issuing the bonds
described below by using these funds to ensure principal repayment.
Hiring well-prepared teachers to reduce class size in the early
grades. As part of President Clinton's national initiative to hire
100,000 teachers to reduce class size in grades 1-3 to a national
average of 18, the budget will provide $6 million for BIA-funded
schools. These funds will enable local schools to recruit, hire, and
train more teachers. Studies show that smaller classes enable
teachers to give personal attention to students, which leads to their
getting a stronger foundation in the basic skills. The studies also
show that minority and disadvantaged students show the greatest
achievement gains as a result of reducing class size in the early
Training and Recruiting New Native American Teachers. Only
two-thirds of Native American students successfully complete high
school --far fewer than other students. In addition, schools with
high populations of American Indian students are typically plagued by
high teacher turn-over. To address these challenges, the budget
provides $10 million for the Education Department to continue the
second year of the Administration's initiative to begin training and
recruiting 1,000 new teachers for areas with high concentrations of
American Indian and Alaska Native students.
New American Indian Administrator Corps. The President and the Vice
President propose $5 million for a new Department of Education
initiative, the American Indian Administrator Corps, that will
support the recruitment, training, and in-service professional
development of 500 American Indians and Alaska Natives to become
effective school administrators in schools with high populations of
Native American students. As in the Native American teacher
initiative, higher-education institutions are encouraged to form
consortia with the tribal colleges in order to develop this program.
Native American School Modernization Bonds. In addition to the $24.8
billion of School Modernization Tax Credit Bonds authorized in his
budget for the construction and renovation of public schools, the
President's budget includes a component for Native American schools.
The Secretary of Interior would be authorized to allocate $400
million bonding authority ($200 million in 2001 and $200 million in
2002) to tribes or tribal consortia for the construction and
renovation of BIA-funded schools. In addition to providing tax
credits to the bondholders in lieu of interest payments, the
President's budget includes $30 million to help ensure principal
repayment for tribal issuers.
New School Renovation Loan and Grant Program. This new $1.3 billion
initiative leverages nearly $7 billion of (approximately 8,300)
renovation projects in high-need school districts with little or no
capacity to fund urgent repairs. Within this program, the President
has allocated $50 million for grants to public schools with high
concentrations of Native American students. The $1.3 billion
initiative also includes a loan program targeted to those districts
unable to finance the interest cost associated with facilities
renovation and a smaller grant program to provide direct funding to
needy school districts unable to finance the capital expenditures
associated with school renovation.
New Therapeutic Pilots at BIA Boarding Schools. The President and
the Vice President propose $8.2 million for a new initiative to
establish Therapeutic Residential Treatment Programs (TRTP) at 5-7 of
the BIA boarding schools and dormitories. According to the Centers
for Disease Control, American Indian students attending BIA schools
are at a very high risk for severe problems associated with substance
abuse, depression, poverty, neglect, homelessness, and physical
abuse. Through the addition of appropriate professionals at each
pilot site, necessary intervention treatments will be provided to
students in a holistic manner, ranging from education to mental
health to substance abuse treatment.
Doubling the Family and Child Education (FACE) Program. The budget
includes $12.8 million, a more than 100 percent increase over the FY
2000 level of $6 million, to double the FACE program at BIA from 22
to 44 sites. The FACE program is a two-generation education program
that provides services such as early childhood educational programs
to young children and provides training to parents to enhance their
parenting skills, education, and literacy.
Strengthening BIA-Funded Schools and Colleges Serving Tribes. The
budget provides $562 million for the operation of elementary and
secondary schools, tribally controlled community colleges, and
assistance to Indian children attending public schools. This
represents an increase of $43 million over the enacted 2000 level.
Increased Funding for Tribal Colleges. The budget proposes increased
funding for the Nation's tribal colleges. At the Department of
Education, the budget provides for $9 million - a 50 percent increase
over 2000 enacted - in order to improve and expand the capacity of
the tribal colleges to serve Native American students in several
ways, including developing academic programs. With this increase at
the Education Department, 24 tribal colleges will receive funding.
At the Department of the Interior, the budget proposes a $3 million
increase to $38 million in order to fund the operations of the tribal
colleges. Including these funds at Interior and Education, the
budget includes a total of $77 million for support to tribal colleges
through funding at the National Science Foundation, and the
Departments of the Interior, Education, Agriculture, Housing and
Urban Development, and Transportation.
Tribal College Endowment Fund. The President's budget proposes to
increase the authorized level from $4.6 million to $7.1 million, a 54
percent increase over 2000, for the Native American Institutions
Endowment Fund at the Department of Agriculture in order to build
educational capacity through student recruitment and retention;
curricula development; faculty preparation; instruction delivery
systems; and scientific instrumentation for teaching.
Head Start. The President's budget boosts funding for Head Start by
$1 billion - the largest funding increase ever - to provide Head
Start and Early Head Start to approximately 950,000 children, nearing
the President's goal of serving one million children in 2002. Since
the President took office, funding for Head Start has risen by nearly
90 percent, enabling 160,000 more low-income children to participate
in the program.
Indian Head Start. The budget provides $175 million for Indian Head
Start -- a $30 million increase over FY 2000.
Fighting Crime in Indian Country. The President's budget included key
increases for law enforcement:
Improves Law Enforcement in Indian Country. The budget proposes $439
million, an increase of $103 million over FY 2000, for the
Departments of Justice and Interior for the third year of the
President's Indian Country Law Enforcement Initiative. The
initiative will improve public safety for the over 1.4 million
residents on the approximately 56 million acres of Indian lands.
This funding will increase the number of law enforcement officers on
Indian lands, provide more equipment, expand detention facilities,
enhance juvenile crime prevention, and improve the effectiveness of
tribal courts. This initiative also includes increased funding for
the unique needs of Indian Country such as legal assistance to
indigent Native Americans; funding to support curriculum development
at tribal colleges for law enforcement and legal studies; an alcohol
and substance abuse diversion program; and sexual assault units to
help prosecute sexual offenders. Although violent crime has been
declining nationally for several years, it has been on the rise in
Indian country. According to the Department of Justice, American
Indians are the victims of violent crimes at more than twice the rate
of all U.S. residents. Recognizing this, the President made a major
commitment to improve law enforcement in Indian country.
Law Enforcement Housing Opportunities. The budget proposes to
permit, through HUD's Indian Housing Block Grant, tribes or
tribally-designated housing entities to provide housing or housing
assistance for qualified law enforcement officers.
Providing Health Care and Promoting Safety. President Clinton and Vice
President Gore are committed to providing health care to the Native
American population. This budget moves forward on their vision to help
realize this goal.
Indian Health Service. The President's budget proposes $2.6
billion, an increase for the Indian Health Service (IHS) of $230
million or 10 percent over the FY 2000 enacted level. This increase
would enable IHS to continue expanding accessible and high-quality
health care to its approximately 1.5 million Native American service
users to: improve preventive services designed to reduce the need for
acute medical care; expand patient access to clinical services to
help improve health status; improve emergency medical services in
remote locations on American Indian and Alaska Native reservations;
address the health and environmental conditions in American Indian
and Alaska Native homes and communities by constructing safe water
and waste disposal facilities; expand programs that provide substance
abuse treatment and prevention and mental health services; strengthen
existing disease surveillance capabilities; target additional
assessment and treatment of diabetes and other chronic diseases; and
provide preventive and corrective dental care to prevent disease and
reduce tooth loss, such as water fluoridation.
IHS Medicaid and Medicare Reimbursements. IHS will collect a total
of $365 million in Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements in FY2001,
helping to bring the total IHS program level to $3.1 billion.
Indian Health Service (IHS) Contract Support Costs. Within the
overall IHS increase, the budget continues to support Tribal
self-determination by proposing a $40 million (+18%) increase for
contract support costs, to cover the costs of new and existing tribal
contracts and compacts.
Helping to Reduce Racial Disparities in Health Status. Despite
improvements in the Nation's overall health, continuing disparities
remain in the burden of death and illness that certain minority
groups experience. For example, American Indian and Alaska Natives
are about three times as likely to die from diabetes as other
Americans. Working with minority public health providers, advocates,
and other consumer representatives, $35 million is provided for
Centers for Disease Control to continue demonstration programs to
enable select communities to develop innovative and effective
approaches to address these disparities.
Treatment for Substance Abuse. The Targeted Treatment Capacity
Expansion Grant program at the Department of Health and Human
Services provides funds to help communities address emerging
substance abuse problems and unmet treatment needs. The President's
budget proposes $163 million for Targeted Treatment Capacity
Expansion grants, which is $49 million over the FY 2000 level of $114
million and will provide treatment for nearly 10,000 additional
individuals. Last year, over fifteen percent of these competitive
grants focused on substance abuse treatment for Native American youth
Providing Care for Native American Seniors. The budget proposes
$23.5 million, an increase of $5 million, to expand core nutrition
and supportive services as well as caregiver services such as respite
care and adult day care to Native American seniors.
Highway Safety Grants. Because highway safety is a major problem on
Indian reservations, the budget will double the amount to $2 million
for highway safety grants in Indian Country. These grants are used
for problem identification, planning, and implementation to address
highway safety problems related to human factors and roadway
environment in order to reduce crashes, deaths, and injuries.
Elevating the Position of the Director of IHS. The President will
also continue his efforts to elevate the Director of IHS to the
position of Assistant Secretary.
Providing Infrastructure for Native American Communities. President
Clinton and Vice President Gore are providing solid investments to build
infrastructure in Native American communities.
Building Roads and Bridges in Indian Country. The Transportation
Department (DOT) will expand its program to improve roads and bridges
on Indian reservations. The President's budget proposes to give the
Indian Reservations Roads program the full authorization amount of
$275 million with an additional $74 million from a highway receipts
account for a total of $349 million, which is an increase of $117
million over the previous year. This will allow Tribes to address
the estimated backlog of $4 billion in needs on these roads and
Tribal Infrastructure Projects. The President and the Vice President
propose $49 million, an increase of $46 million over FY 2000, for the
Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) to
fund infrastructure, planning, and public works projects. These
projects will focus on technology, business development, and tribal
economic development activities. EDA will give priority to projects
that emphasize the attraction of outside capital to, and the location
of basic commercial business operations in, Native American
USDA Rural Development Programs. The FY2001 budget proposes $26
million, an increase of $14 million over 2000 enacted to provide
loans and grants through the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) rural
development programs to construct and improve Native Americans' water
and wastewater systems; community facilities such as health clinics
and child care centers; and diversify and expand economic
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Wastewater and Drinking Water
Infrastructure Investments. The FY2001 budget increases the Tribal
share of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund appropriation from 0.5
to 1.5 percent. The percentage increase will add more than $5
million for Tribal wastewater infrastructure spending over FY 2000.
The Administration also continues to request an additional $15
million for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure needs of
Alaska Native villages.
Construction Skills Training. Currently, Transportation funds $10
million per year for a construction skills training program targeted
to all minorities. Last year, only $9 million was obligated because
overall highway funding was less than authorized levels. The
President's budget proposes to ensure this program is funded at its
authorized levels thereby providing the full $10 million in FY2001
and setting aside $1 million for Native Americans.
Empowering Communities and Moving People from Welfare to Work.
Addressing the Digital Divide. The Administration proposes this new
initiative to encourage Native Americans to pursue information
technology and other science and technology fields as areas of study
as well as to increase the capacity of tribal colleges to offer
courses in these areas. The budget provides $10 million, to be
administered by the National Science Foundation, for grants to tribal
colleges for networking and access; course development; student
assistance; and capacity building.
Extending Welfare-to-Work Grants. To help more long-term welfare
recipients and low-income fathers go to work and support their
families, the Administration's budget will give state, local, tribal,
and community- and faith-based grantees an additional two years to
spend Welfare-to-Work funds, ensuring that roughly $2 billion in
existing resources continues to help those most in need. This will
give grantees an opportunity to fully implement both the $3 billion
Welfare-to Work initiative the Administration fought to include in
the 1997 Balanced Budget Act, which included $30 million in tribal
grants, and the program eligibility improvements enacted last year
with the Administration's support.
Helping Low-Income Fathers and Working Families Support Their
Children. The Administration's budget proposes $255 million for the
first year of a new "Fathers Work/Families Win" initiative to help
low-income non-custodial parents (mainly fathers) and low-income
families work and support their children. Within these funds, $10
million will be set aside for applicants from Native American
New Housing Vouchers for Hard-Pressed Working Families. The
Clinton-Gore budget includes $690 million for 120,000 new rental
housing vouchers to help America's hard-pressed working families. Of
the 120,000 new housing vouchers, 32,000 will be targeted to families
moving from welfare to work, 18,000 to homeless individuals and
families, and 10,000 to low-income families moving to new housing
constructed through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, with the
remaining 60,000 vouchers allocated to local areas to help address
the large unmet need for affordable housing. These new vouchers
build on the 110,000 new housing vouchers secured through the
President's leadership in the past two years. As part of the FY 1999
competition, HUD awarded nearly 800 welfare to work housing vouchers
to two tribes, and assuming Congress approves new welfare to work
vouchers, the Administration will maintain a similar policy in FY
Access to Jobs Program. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st
Century (TEA-21) authorized $750 million over five years for the
President's Job Access initiative and reverse commute grants to
develop flexible transportation solutions, such as van services, to
help welfare recipients and other low-income workers (up to 150% of
poverty) travel to job opportunities and employment-related services.
The President's budget proposes to double funding for this initiative
to $150 million in FY2001. To increase mobility and access to
employment opportunities for Native American families moving from
welfare to work and other low-income workers, DOT will set aside $5
million for Indian tribes under the FY2001 DOT Job Access grant
program and propose, through appropriations language, allowing tribes
to apply directly to the Federal Transit Administration for these
Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Expansion. The
Administration requested a major expansion of the CDFI program to
continue building a national network of community development banks.
The final budget increases CDFI funding from $95 million in FY2000 to
$125 million in FY2001 -- a $30 million increase. In order to
increase access to capital in Indian Country, the budget proposes,
for the first time, a $5 million set-aside within the CDFI Fund to
establish a training and technical assistance program focused on
eliminating barriers to capital access.
Housing Improvement Program. The budget provides $32 million at BIA -
a doubling of the $16 million in 2000 - to repair or replace
dilapidated homes across Indian Country.
Indian Housing. The budget provides $650 million in block grants for
Indian housing, an increase of $30 million over FY 2000.
Indian Homeownership Intermediaries. The budget proposes to set
aside $5 million within the Indian Housing Block Grant to create
non-profit homeownership intermediaries in Indian Country. They will
serve as a catalyst for the creation of a private homeownership
market in Indian Country and will support local capacity-building
intermediaries or "one-stop mortgage centers."
Economic Development Planning Grants. The President's budget expands
language within the Native American set-aside of the Community
Development Block Grant to allow for stand-alone economic development
Strengthening Tribal Environmental Programs. The President's budget
increases funding for the EPA's General Assistance Program (GAP) by
$10 million for a total of $53 million. GAP grants fund tribal
institutional capacity building for implementing environmental
programs on Indian lands. GAP grants have increased from $8 million
in 1993 to the FY 2001 proposed level of $53 million.
Tribal/EPA Cooperative Agreements to Implement Federal Environmental
Programs. The President's budget proposes appropriations language
authorizing the Administrator of the EPA to enter into cooperative
agreements with tribes or tribal consortia so that they may assist
EPA in implementing Federal environmental programs. EPA will also
provide grants to tribes and tribal consortia for this work.
Remove Cap on Nonpoint Source Water Pollution Grants to Tribes.
Appropriations language is proposed that permanently removes the
one-third of one percent cap on the tribal share of the EPA Clean
Water Act nonpoint source grants to tribes. These additional
resources will help protect water quality on Indian lands.
Agricultural Extension Program. This Initiative provides extension
agents on large Indian reservations. These extension agents,
employees of the State Cooperative Extension System, work with tribal
advisory committees to develop educational programs in agriculture or
agriculture-related youth programs that respond to tribal priorities.
Since funding began in 1990, it has remained at $1.7 million,
supporting about 26 projects in 15 states. This year the President
proposes to increase funding to $5 million - the first increase since
Promoting Self-Sufficiency. The FY2001 budget proposes $44 million,
an increase of $9 million over 2000, for the Administration of Native
Americans (ANA) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
ANA funds projects that are expected to result in sustained
improvements in the social and economic conditions of Native
Americans within their communities. ANA will set-aside $2 million
for tribal energy development projects and another $2 million to
continue its work on developing tribal codes in order to promote
business development in Indian Country.
Tribal Energy Program. The budget proposes $5 million, an increase
of $1 million, for the Tribal Energy Program at the Department of
Energy which assists tribal governments in implementing energy
programs, including with renewable energy resources such as wind
Business Assistance at the Small Business Administration. The budget
proposes new funding to create Small Business Development Centers
(SBDCs) in Indian Country to provide business and technical
assistance to Native American entrepreneurs. These new tribal SBDCs
will work in tandem with the seventeen existing Tribal Business
Information Centers. A total of $4.5 million is provided for this
initiative. The Administration will propose authorizing legislation
to establish the tribal SBDCs. This legislation will ensure that
SBDCs will be available to all parts of Indian Country, including the
Expanding Business LINC to Indian Country. For the first time, the
budget proposes $1.25 million to expand the Vice President's
successful BusinessLINC program to Indian Country. BusinessLINC
establishes mentor-protege relationships between large and small
businesses. The goal of BusinessLINC is to encourage large firms to
provide technical assistance, business advice, networking,
investment, and joint venturing opportunities for locally-owned
Tribal Colleges Initiative. The budget proposes to set-aside $5
million within the HUD Community Development Block Grant program for
competitive grants awarded to tribal colleges to assist their
communities with neighborhood revitalization, housing, and economic
development. These colleges will provide technical assistance and
capacity building support to their surrounding communities through
assistance in the creation of community development corporations;
assistance in the development and coordination of supportive services
for welfare-to-work initiatives; coordination and support for the
rehabilitation of housing for low- to moderate-income families; and
assistance in the promotion of economic development through small
business incubators and job training programs.
Native American Economic Development Access Center. The President's
budget proposes an additional $2 million at the Department of Housing
and Urban Development to establish a Native American Economic
Development Access Center. This Access Center will, for the first
time, link over twelve agencies through a single toll-free number so
that Native American callers can receive access to information about
federal programs for economic development. The purpose of the Access
Center will be to answer questions in a problem-solving manner rather
than requiring callers to be familiar with specific federal programs.
The Access Center will also have a website.
Technical Assistance Funding for the Tribal Colleges. The budget
proposes to set aside $1 million out of the Revenue Aligned Budget
Authority for the tribal colleges to do outreach to help Native
Americans access federal funds.
New Markets Investments Initiative. The United States is currently
in the midst of the longest peacetime expansion in its history. The
strength and duration of this expansion has helped bring economic
opportunity to millions of people once cut off from the economic
mainstream. But too many urban and rural areas, and Native American
reservations, have not participated in this growth. These areas have
tremendous potential as New Markets. The President's expanded New
Markets initiative will spur $22 billion in new capital investment in
businesses in these economically distressed areas through a package
of tax credits and loan guarantees. The package includes the
More Than Doubling the New Markets Tax Credit - The President
proposes to more than double the New Markets tax credit to spur $15
billion dollars in new investment in community development in
economically distressed areas. An entity making new equity investments
in a selected community development project would be eligible for a tax
credit worth 25 percent of the cost of the investment. A variety of
vehicles providing equity and credit to businesses in underserved areas
would be eligible. The total cost of the tax credits amounts to about
$5 billion over 10 years.
Expanded Empowerment Zones - The proposed expanded wage credits, tax
incentives, and new round of urban and rural EZs will extend and improve
economic growth in the 31 existing urban and rural Empowerment Zones,
administered by HUD and USDA, and support the proposed third round of 10
new empowerment zones to be designated in 2001. The total cost of these
proposals will be $4.4 billion over 10 years.
America's Private Investment Companies (APICs) - Modeled after the
Overseas Private Investment Corporation's (OPIC) successful investment
fund program, APICs would provide guaranteed debt to private investment
companies, licensed by HUD, to help leverage private equity capital and
lower the cost of capital for investments in low- and moderate-income
communities. For every dollar that private investors provide, the
government will guarantee two dollars in debt to expand the APIC's pool
of capital available for making investments and enhance the return on
those investments to the private investors. APICs will make equity
investments in larger businesses that are expanding or relocating in
inner cities and rural areas.
New Market Venture Capital Firms (NMVCs) - The President is asking
for $51.7 million in his 2001 budget to allow SBA to match equity
investment and technical assistance funds to finance 10-20 new
investment partnerships - New Markets Venture Capital Firms -- selected
to provide both long-term growth capital and expert guidance to
entrepreneurs who need both in order to transform their small businesses
and great ideas into thriving companies.
Other Elements of New Markets - Other elements include: increasing
the funding for SBA's microenterprise lending program; creating PRIME--a
program providing technical assistance to low-income entrepreneurs;
boosting CDFI funding; expanding support for BusinessLINC to encourage
large businesses to work with small businesses in new markets; and
establishing a New Markets University Partnerships pilot project which,
under the auspices of HUD, would provide universities with funding to
develop local community partnerships, assistance to intermediaries, and
technical and business development assistance to new and existing firms.
In addition, to better serve Native American communities, the President
proposes additional funding to expand the New Markets initiative to
Indian Country, which are described herein.
Protecting Sovereignty and Promoting Self-Determination.
Tribal Contracting and Self-Governance. BIA and IHS will continue to
promote Tribal self-determination through local decision-making.
Tribal contracting and self-governance compact agreements now
represent 41 percent of BIA's operations budget, and forty-two
percent of IHS' budget. The self-governance agreements give Tribes
greater flexibility to administer Federal programs on reservations.
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Contract Support Costs. Within the
overall BIA increase, the budget continues to support Tribal
self-determination by proposing $134 million, a $9 million or 7
percent increase over 2000 for contract support costs. This funding
provides $5 million for new and expanded contracts and $129 million
for existing contracts.
Trust Services. The Administration is committed to improving trust
services and management through its trust reform efforts at the
Interior Department. The budget proposes $108 million, a 48 percent
increase over 2000, for improved trust services in the BIA for
activities such as probate, real estate appraisals, and other
Indian Trust Fund Balances. The Administration is committed to
resolving disputed Indian trust fund account balances through
informal dispute resolution and supports the unique
government-to-government relationship that exists in Indian trust
land management issues. After Tribal consultations, BIA submitted
its "Recommendations of the Secretary of the Interior for Settlement
of Disputed Tribal Accounts" to Congress in November 1997.
Legislation reflecting these recommendations was proposed in 1998,
but not enacted. The Department will continue efforts to resolve
trust fund account balances.
Trust Land Management. As part of BIA's commitment to resolving
trust land management issues, Interior worked with Congress in 1999
to repropose legislation (S. 1586) to establish an Indian Land
Consolidation program to address the ownership fractionation of
Indian land. Interior began implementing three pilot projects in
Wisconsin, in cooperation with Tribes, to purchase small ownership
interests in highly fractionated tracts of land from willing sellers.
In the nine months of this effort, more than 8,000 small ownership
interests have been consolidated. The budget proposes $13 million in
2001 for this program, and Interior will work with Congress to get
legislation enacted in the 106th Congress, limiting future
Trust Management Improvement Project. In addition to the $13 million
for the Indian Land Consolidation program, the budget provides $83
million for DOI's Office of Special Trustee, including the trust
management improvement project. Current activities include verifying
individual Indian's account data and converting these data to a
commercial-grade accounting system. Ownership, lease, and royalty
information related to the underlying trust assets will also be
verified and converted to a recently acquired commercial asset