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Mr. GOVER. It is a catalog and no more. I don't think that the listing is a solution of any sort. It is still too hard for the tribes to qualify for this money.

Senator INOUYE. Then should we just continue and say, "Well, this is impossible, so let's forget about it"?

Mr. GOVER. No.

Senator INOUYE. What should we do about this?

Mr. GOVER. Again, allow us to continue the work that we're doing with the tribes right now. I would recommend that the committee continue to look for opportunities to consolidate various programs in a Public Law 102-477 type program where we take several sources of money from different programs that are available to tribes, combine them into a single source, and allow the tribes to block grant it. That makes a lot of sense. There are probably a number of programmatic areas where we could do that. It might be housing, it might be law enforcement. Justice is now experimenting with program that would combine all of their various programs into one; they call it the circle project. We will continue to encourage the agencies to do that.

Finally, to reach across agency lines, as we do in the Public Law 102-477 program, where we combine Labor money with BIA money and give a single grant to the tribes.

Senator INOUYE. Do you think that the committee should take the initiative to look over the programs and suggest consolidation? Or should you take the initiative to do that? After all, my staff here one, two, three

Mr. GOVER. I think we should do that, Senator.

Senator INOUYE. So I would suggest that we go beyond the catalog stage.

It just reminded me of why I got into this business. In 1953 I was an assistant public prosecutor, and I came across a strange case where a father had beaten up his daughter, 12 years old. Šo I decided to personally investigate this matter, and it turned out that the father was angry and embarrassed because she was a prostitute, at 12 years old. And I asked her why, and she said, "We don't have any money. My papa is unemployed. My mother is unemployed. We've got four kids here." And those parents had no idea that welfare was available, that there were programs all over the Territory of Hawaii that could have helped them with health, education, and support.

I think this is the same situation. There are all kinds of programs here. Some are crazy-"international public policy"-why is that listed here?

Mr. GOVER. I don't know. I was surprised to learn that that was one that is available.

We made no effort, obviously, in putting together this list of discerning programs that are intended to meet specific needs that we know exist in Indian country. Simply in terms of eligibility, we were trying to say, "When can an Indian apply? When can an Indian tribe apply?" And we came up with this list.

Now, the list obviously needs to be further refined to do the sort of thing we just discussed, of looking for opportunities to consolidate programs across agency lines. I would be happy to work on


Senator INOUYE. And I agree with you that Chairman Campbell's bill is not a cure-all. In fact, he does not think so himself. But somewhere, someone, some organization has to begin the process, even if it is a process filled with mistakes and faults. It is either that, or we just sit on our seats and do nothing and look nice here. Mr. GOVER. Senator Inouye, there is some effort being undertaken, and this Administration, in particular, has created, through Executive orders, efforts to really undertake interagency initiatives in the area of tribal community colleges, education, and economic development. We will continue to pursue those. I must admit, there is no systematic effort to do that through the entire range of programs available to Indians.

Senator INOUYE. And certainly, if you told us what we should be doing, the Chairman and I would be very happy to accommodate and assist you.

One more question, Mr. Chairman.

A few days ago I filled out the Census 2000 questionnaire, and I noted with some pleasure that Indians are in a separate category. On top of that, there is another subsection that says, "What tribe?" And there are all kinds of questions with all kinds of data. Do you get that?

Mr. GOVER. I did.

Senator INOUYE. I mean, do you get that information from the Census Bureau?

Mr. GOVER. We will.

Senator INOUYE. Did you get the last one?

Mr. GOVER. We did, but the last census was sort of a self-identification. We did get the information; we know, through self-identification, how many members of the Cherokee Tribe live in the State of Virginia; I mean, that information is available.

The problem is, we can't get reliable socioeconomic indicators in every case because the sample is too small. Not everybody gets the long form. Certainly, where there are concentrations of Indians, even in some major cities like Los Angeles or Chicago, we can say with some confidence what the socioeconomic status of the Indian community is there.

Senator INOUYE. Do you have plans to make use of the data that will be made available?

Mr. GOVER. We rely heavily on the census data.

Senator INOUYE. Could you provide this committee with that data?

Mr. GOVER. Of course. As soon as it is available.

I assume it will be some time before the 2000 census data will be available. If you would like to see the 1990 data, we can certainly provide that.

Senator INOUYE. I am certain you are aware that in the last census, 15 percent of Native America was undercounted. Is that going to repeat itself again? Are we going to be short-changed 15 percent or more?

Mr. GOVER. I don't have any doubt, Senator Inouye, that Indian country will be undercounted again.

Senator INOUYE. Are we doing our best to encourage Indian country to participate?

Mr. GOVER. We are. Both the BIA and the Census Bureau have reached out to the tribes to try to develop a cooperative effort to get an accurate count on the reservations.

The Census Bureau, frankly, is relatively new to working with the tribes, and there have been some bumps in the road. I do believe that, in their good faith, they did better this time than last, and I think we will continue to see improvement in how Census deals with the tribes, and that the count will get better.

Senator INOUYE. Thank you very much.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.

Senator Inouye brought up an interesting issue. We're not going to deal with it today, but my own view is that the census is going to skew a lot of things. We have about 1.3 million enrolled American Indians, which means the Federal legal definition of who is an Indian-I'll bet you have 30 million people self-identifying this time as Indians because some of them think they're going to get something free. And I don't know how that's going to play out, whether it has to be cross-checked with the rolls or what, but it's going to be a very complicated thing to go through. A lot of them will be in urban areas.

It's a discussion for another day, but I'll bet it's going to be a very confusing thing when they try to find out who is Indian.

Mr. GOVER. Well, it probably is. My Public Affairs Director, Nedra Darling, is here; she is routinely sending me these E-mails she receives from people who are writing in to say, "I think I had a grandmother who was an Indian; where do I get my million dollars?" So there will be some of that, I'm sure, and we'll have to use the census data with considerable discretion.

The CHAIRMAN. I know that a couple of years ago I was talking to Wilma Mankiller, the Principal Chief of the Cherokees before she retired. She told me there were actually 1,400 requests per month from people saying, "I think I'm Cherokee, send me my money," that kind of thing. The census might even confuse it.

I might mention, when you talked about consolidating some programs or coordinating resources, I was aware of the President's directive which directed several agencies to start coordinating their


Let me ask you, do you think that there is value in having a Government-wide review of the programs that we could try to coordinate?

Mr. GOVER. Actually, I do. I do think that. I think it would be well worth both the administration's time and the Congress' time to establish a body with the job of systematically inventorying the resources that are available, and get at least some notion of how much of that makes its way to Indian country, and even recommending to the Congress some ideas for consolidating these programs.

As I say, the administration has done that in a few areas. We have not done so systematically, and I would certainly be willing to pursue that with the powers that be in the administration because I think it needs to be done.

The CHAIRMAN. Then I might ask, Mr. Assistant Secretary, if you would look at S. 2052, a bill I introduced. It doesn't go as far as we might want to go, but it is a bill that consolidates development

programs with 10 to 11 Federal agencies. You might take a look at that. It might be a vehicle that we could expand somewhat. If you would, I would appreciate that.

Mr. GOVER. Okay.

The CHAIRMAN. I actually have no further questions.

Did you, Senator?

Senator INOUYE. I have a question I would like to ask in private, if I may.

The CHAIRMAN. All right.

The Senator is asking you to stay around for a few minutes so that he can talk to you after we finish the hearing.

With that, thank you for appearing today.

We now go to our second panel. We have had one change; unfortunately, Ms. Rupnicki was scheduled to testify but had an emergency in her family, and in her stead JoAnn K. Chase, the executive director of NCAI, will testify, and she is joined by Jennifer Hughes, an attorney. And we will also have Britt Clapham, deputy attorney general of the Navajo Nation, also on this panel.

So if you would just go ahead and proceed, JoAnn. I thank you for appearing.


Ms. CHASE. Good morning, Mr. Chairman. My name is JoAnn Chase, and I have the privilege of serving as the executive director for the National Congress of American Indians, the oldest and largest national organization representing the interests of tribal governments and individual members as well.

As you mentioned, Mr. Chairman, this morning Chairwoman Mamie Rupnicki was supposed to be providing testimony, both in her capacity as the Anadarko area vice president on the NCAI executive committee, and as a member of the TPA Workgroup. Unfortunately, due to an emergency she is not able to be here. I have the somewhat difficult task of filling her shoes this morning. I will certainly do my best to provide comments on behalf of NCAI.

We would like to commend the leadership of yourself and the vice chairman for proposing S. 612 as a beginning to better address the unmet need in Indian country, a very problematic issue for our member tribes. Our written statement, Mr. Chairman, explains in detail the position of the NCAI member tribes, and I will just summarize very briefly some of our main concerns.

Let me just begin with the foundation of S. 612 as a longstanding principle in Indian law and policy, that being the Federal trust responsibility, certainly an appropriate backdrop for this measure. There is a legal, ethical, moral, and historical responsibility of the Federal Government to provide for and support Indian tribes, and it arises from the commitments the United States made to the tribes in treaties, statutes, Executive orders, and judicial decisions in the general course of dealing with tribes by the United States. Yet, while the Self-Determination Act was enacted in 1975, in other acts setting forth the Government's obligations decades earlier-and in treaties ratified long before that we believe that the

Federal Government's effort to uphold its trust responsibility is, indeed, lacking.

One of the primary reasons for this failure is that the Federal Government does not have the means to assess what is needed in Indian country, and therefore cannot adequately provide. Indeed, how can the Federal Government adhere to its commitments if it does not know the needs of tribes and does not review the programs to make sure that they are effective on a regular basis?

Ultimately, Mr. Chairman, our member tribes support S. 612 because we believe it would provide a mechanism to more adequately assess the areas in which tribes need assistance, and to assess whether agency programs and services are indeed meeting that need.

As a context for our position and our support for this measure, Mr. Chairman, I might just simply refer briefly to the Tribal Priority Allocations Workgroup; indeed, Ms. Rupnicki was a member of that group, as was Mr. Allen, the first vice president of NCAI. The workgroup was created under section 129 of the 1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act, and one of its primary tasks was to gather the data on tribal unmet needs. While its findings were extensive and provided to the committee in a rather detailed report, fundamental to the workgroup's findings was that most tribes suffer from the most severe poverty, unemployment, and poor housing conditions in the United States, even though the Federal Government has a moral and legal obligation to provide for them.

We believe and accordingly, our member tribes believe that this underscores the necessity for a measure such as S. 612. I might also refer, Mr. Chairman, to the testimony that was submitted to the committee in May 1999 by then-president Ron Allen on behalf of the Tribal Priority Allocations Workgroup, which provides an extensive overview of the workgroup's findings, and dovetails nicely and serves as a foundation for the support that the NCAI member tribes have for S. 612.

NCAI agrees that the findings and goals of S. 612, and certainly the TPA report and the newly-formed NCAL/BIA Workgroup on Data Needs, Management of Needs Assessment, and Auditing reinforce the need for the Government to develop a comprehensive database system for current statistical information about tribalspecific unmet needs.

If I might elaborate for just a second, Mr. Chairman, on the tribes submit audits and reports to the BIA regarding their funds, which lacks a consistent format for such reporting. In response to this inconsistency the new NCAL/BIA Workgroup on Needs Assessment plans to identify reporting options for tribes to submit needs information to the BIA, identify the costs of data collection systems, develop a reporting instrument consistent for all tribes, and develop a meaningful tribal budget process.

The group has met twice so far. It will be meeting again April 13 and 14, and we hope that the committee will be mindful of some of the recommendations forthcoming from this workgroup as we move forward with this legislation. It is a collaborative effort between the BIA and tribal leaders, and we are optimistic that their recommendations will be helpful and important to this effort.

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