Friday, August 10, 2012 – Tribes Taking Control Over Leasing Their Land: (listen)
As the month of July came to a close President Barack Obama put a pen to paper to make the Helping to Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act a new law. It grants greater authority to federally recognized tribes to develop and implement their own regulations for leasing on Indian lands. What opportunities does this law provide to tribal nations and their citizens? How does this new extension of sovereignty play into strengthening tribal communities? How does this legislation change things for Native families who want to own their own home or tribal citizens who want to open up their own business? Guests include Bryan Newland (Bay Mills Tribe of Chippewa Indians) Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs/Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of Interior.
Featuring Bryan Newland, MSU ILPC grad (2007).
President Barack Obama signs H.R. 205, the HEARTH Act of 2012, in the Oval Office, July 30, 2012. Standing behind the President, from left, are: Bryan Newland, Senior Policy Advisor at the Department of the Interior; Governor Randall Vicente, Pueblo of Acoma in New Mexico; David Hayes, Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior; Jefferson Keel, President of the National Congress of American Indians; Rep. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.; Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii; interior Secretary Ken Salazar; Cheryl Causley, Chairperson of the National American Indian Housing Council; Governor Gregory Mendoza, Gila River Indian Community of Arizona; and Del Laverdure, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Interior.
Press release from Rep. Heinrich’s office:
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 17, 2012) – Legislation sponsored by U.S. Representative Martin Heinrich (NM-1) to remove barriers between Native American families and homeownership cleared the Senate today by a unanimous vote. The bill, the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act (H.R. 205), would allow tribes to exercise greater control over their lands and eliminate bureaucratic delays that stand in the way of homeownership and economic development in tribal communities.
The HEARTH Act passed the House 400 to zero on May 15. Here is NCAI’s description:
The HEARTH Act (H.R. 205 and S. 703) has been favorably considered in committee in both the Senate and the House, and we urge the Administration to work with Congress to pass the legislation as soon as possible. The HEARTH Act promotes tribal self-determination in the management of tribal lands and would allow tribes to lease their own lands without the delay and bureaucracy of approval within the BIA. The legislation is also optional; each tribe would decide for itself whether or not to take advantage of the Act. Many tribes desire to manage their own lands and to promote economic development, and they are in the best position to decide for themselves whether this Act suits their needs. The Act expands the Navajo Leasing Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-568) to all federally recognized tribes.