President Proposes $2.5 Billion Budget for Indian Affairs in Fiscal Year 2018

Budget Invests in Education, Resource Development, Construction and Infrastructure

WASHINGTON –President Donald Trump today proposed a $2.5 billion Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget for Indian Affairs, which includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). The President’s budget reaffirms his support of tribal sovereignty and self-determination across Indian Country by focusing on core funding and services to support ongoing tribal government operations, including an emphasis on infrastructure repair and improvements.

“President Trump promised the American people he would cut wasteful spending and make the government work for the taxpayer again, and that’s exactly what this budget does,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.  “Working carefully with the President, we identified areas where we could reduce spending and also areas for investment, such as addressing the maintenance backlog in our National Parks and increasing domestic energy production on federal lands.  The budget also allows the Department to return to the traditional principles of multiple-use management to include both responsible natural resource development and conservation of special places.  Being from the West, I’ve seen how years of bloated bureaucracy and D.C.-centric policies hurt our rural communities.  The President’s budget saves taxpayers by focusing program spending, shrinking bureaucracy, and empowering the front lines.”

“President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget request for Indian Affairs strongly reflects his proposed investments in education, energy development, and infrastructure which focus on enhancing tribal prosperity through tribal, rather than federal efforts,” said Michael S. Black, acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs.  “We will achieve that by refocusing our resources into those programs that are most effective in supporting tribal self-determination.”

Indian Affairs plays an important role in carrying out the federal government’s trust, treaty and other responsibilities to the nation’s 567 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes.

Operation of Indian Programs

The FY18 budget proposal for Indian Affairs operational programs is $2.1 billion.

It includes $786.4 million for Advancing Indian Education, an investment that supports a vision for a 21st century Indian education system, grounded in both high academic standards and tribal values and traditions. The funding will allow for the comprehensive reorganization of the BIE to continue in FY18.  The request proposes $643.9 million for Elementary and Secondary Education programs, $118.4 million for Post-Secondary programs, and $24.0 million for education management.

In its role as a capacity builder and service provider to support tribes in educating their youth and delivering world-class and culturally appropriate education across Indian Country, the budget request for Indian education focuses on direct school operations including classroom instruction, text books, student transportation, language development programs, Gifted and Talented programs, school maintenance, and in some remotely located schools, residential costs.  Importantly, the budget continues to invest in activities that promote educational self-determination for Tribal communities.  Accordingly, the budget proposes $74.4 million, an increase of $1.2 million, to fully fund Tribal Grant Support Costs for tribes that choose to operate BIE-funded schools.

The FY18 Operation of Indian Programs request for Supporting Indian Families and Protecting Indian Country includes:

·         $123.9 million for BIA Office of Indian Services programs that provide social services, welfare assistance and Indian Child Welfare Act protections, all of which contribute to Indian Affairs’ mission to promote the development of prosperous tribal communities.

·         $349.3 million for the BIA’s Office of Justice Services to support 190 law enforcement programs and 96 corrections programs operated by tribes and by the BIA as direct services, including $22.0 million for tribal courts and $1.3 million for fire protection.

The FY18 request for Supporting Sustainable Stewardship of Trust Resources and Lands supports Indian Affairs’ fiduciary trust responsibilities and sustainable stewardship of trust lands, natural resources and the environment in Indian Country.  The budget proposes $112.0 million for the BIA’s Real Estate Services programs, which includes probating Indian trust assets, land title and records processing, geospatial support needs, and database management. The budget also proposes $165.5 million for the BIA’s Natural Resource Management programs, which assist tribes in the management, development and protection of Indian trust land and natural resources on 56 million surface acres and 59 million acres of subsurface mineral estates.

The budget supports the Administration’s focus on infrastructure with proposed increases totaling $12.3 million, including $3.8 million programs in the operations account for programs that support deferred maintenance projects for resource management infrastructure and roads. The budget includes:

·         An additional $2.6 million for irrigation project operations and maintenance. This program serves the 17 Indian irrigation projects in the BIA’s asset inventory, 15 of which generate revenues that are used to fund most of their operations and maintenance. Annual receipts for the revenue-generating projects exceeded $33 million in 2016, which are reinvested into the projects.

·         An increase of $1.2 million for the BIA’s Roads program for deferred maintenance projects. The program has maintenance responsibility for approximately 29,000 miles of BIA-owned roads and over 900 bridges.

The FY18 budget request also proposes $24.7 million for Minerals and Mining programs.  Funding includes continued commitment to the Indian Energy Service Center, which was initially funded in 2016.  Income from energy production is the largest source of revenue generated from trust lands, with royalty income of $534 million in 2016.

The FY18 request proposes $627.0 million for Tribal Priority Allocations, a $63.0 million decrease from the FY17 CR level.  

Contract Support Costs

The President’s FY18 budget requests $241.6 million for Contract Support Costs, which support the tribes’ ability to assume responsibility for operating federal programs, maintains the Administration’s strong support for the principle of tribal self-determination and strengthening tribal communities across Indian Country.  Based on the most recent analysis of funding levels in the 2018 request, the proposed amount will fully fund contract support costs. 


The budget request for Construction is $143.3 million, which supports the Administration’s focus on Maintaining Essential Infrastructure and Resources.

It includes proposed increases totaling $12.3 million, including $8.5 million programs in the construction account, for deferred maintenance projects for resource management infrastructure and other BIA construction and deferred maintenance programs. The request proposes:

·         An additional $2.5 million for the Safety of Dams program, which is currently responsible for 138 high or significant-hazard dams located on 42 Indian reservations, $1.8 million for dam maintenance, and $0.7 million for Survey and Design.

·         An additional $1.5 million for irrigation projects rehabilitation.  The irrigation rehabilitation program addresses critical deferred maintenance and construction work on BIA-owned and operated irrigation facilities, with a focus on health and safety concerns.  Most facilities are reaching 100 years old and are in need of major capital improvements.

·         An increase request of $2.0 million for deferred maintenance needs of regional and agency facilities at 127 locations to address safety, security and handicap accessibility issues where Indian programs are administered.

The budget provides $80.2 million for education construction programs to address deferred maintenance needs at the 183 campuses in the BIE school system.  The proposal for construction projects is focused on continuing the planning and design of the 10 schools on the BIE’s 2016 School Replacement List as well as major improvement and repair projects at other education facilities.

Land and Water Claims Settlements

The FY18 request for authorized settlements payments is $14.0 million.  Funding will support payments to enacted settlements authorized for appropriations.  At the proposed funding level, the Department can continue to honor commitments within the statutory requirements for completion.  These settlements resolve tribal land and water rights claims and ensure that tribes have access to land and water to meet their domestic, economic and cultural needs.

Indian Guaranteed Loan Program

The FY18 budget request for this program is $6.7 million.  The funding level will guarantee $87.4 million in loan principal to support Indian economic development. 

Indian Affairs’ FY18 Budget Justification is available here, and additional details on the President’s FY18 Budget Request are available on the Department’s website.  Visit to view the Department’s Budget in Brief.

Plan for restrictions on US 191 near Many Farms

Fuel spill cleanup expected to last three weeks

US 191 on the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona is narrowed to one lane only near Many Farms for the next three weeks so crews can clean up diesel fuel that spilled during a serious crash on May 14. The lane restriction is in place around-the-clock until cleanup work is complete.

Drivers should plan for a reduced speed limit and be prepared to stop as they approach the work zone at milepost 458.9. Flaggers will direct alternating traffic through the open travel lane. Expect delays of up to 15 minutes. The lane restriction on US 191 is scheduled be lifted by the second week of June barring weather or other unforeseen conditions.

If you have questions or comments, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email []

ADOT works to inform the public about planned highway restrictions and closures, but it’s possible that unscheduled impacts might occur because of weather or other factors. For the most current information about highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information site at, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

Add time for travel to Page on US 89 Wednesday and Thursday

Motorists traveling on US 89 to Page should allow extra time while surface sealant is applied on a nine-mile segment of the roadway just south of Horseshoe Bend Overlook. Work will occur between mileposts 537 and 546 during daylight hours Wednesday, May 17, and Thursday, May 18.

The roadway will be reduced to one lane with a pilot car guiding alternating traffic through the work zone. Drivers should observe reduced speed limits and watch for construction personnel and equipment in the work zone.

ADOT works to inform the public about planned highway restrictions and closures, but it’s possible that unscheduled impacts might occur because of weather or other factors. For the most current information about highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information site at, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving

Kayenta Township Opposes Proposed Navajo Nation Firearms Registration

On Monday May 8, 2017 at 5:30pm the Kayenta Township Commission held its regularly scheduled monthly meeting. Among the agenda items was resolution #KTCMY-30-17 “Opposing Proposed Navajo Nation Council Legislation No. 0114-17 Amending Title 17 of the Navajo Nation Code and Enacting the Navajo Nation Firearms Act”. This legislation was drafted and put forth by Navajo Nation Council Delegate Davis Filfred of Aneth, UT.

This resolution was first presented to the Kayenta Township Commission at last month’s regularly scheduled meeting on April 10, 2017 but was tabled because the Commission wanted community input on the matter. The Commission directed Kayenta Town Manager Gabriel Yazzie to hold a public meeting at the Kayenta Town Hall.

Commissioner Jarvis Williams addresses the audience at the Kayenta public meeting.

This public meeting was held at 10am on May 4, 2017 and conducted by Kayenta Town Manager Gabriel Yazzie. In attendance were community members of Kayenta, the surrounding area and other communities such as Kaibeto and Oljato. Kayenta Township Commissioner Jarvis Williams, Jodonna Hall/Ward and Rodger Grey made it a priority to be at the meeting to hear the public input. Three Navajo Nation police officers were in attendance as well.

Commissioner Hall/Ward addressed the audience first at the meeting and informed the audience that this piece of proposed legislation by Davis Filfred is very important and affects each and every firearm owner on the Navajo Nation. “We want your input on this issue so we can make the right decision for this community.” Stated Ms. Hall/Ward.

Every community member that was in attendance, with the exception of the three Navajo Nation police officers, were opposed to the proposed legislation and voiced their concerns quite openly and candidly. Many stated that as responsible firearm owners they had already followed the mandatory background check when purchasing a firearm and that forcing everyone on the Navajo Nation that owned a firearm(s) to register and be put in a database is not what needs to be done to combat crime on the Navajo Nation.

The Navajo Police officers in attendance justified their support of the legislation by stating that a firearms registry would help them trace a firearm(s) used in a crime to its owner much easier. This was their only justification in support of the proposed Navajo Nation legislation.

In attendance at the public meeting was Kayenta community member Shonie De La Rosa who is an active member of the National Rifle Association and the Arizona Rifle and Pistol Association. Shonie has stated that he will fight this legislation to the very end and people need to be educated on this very important issue. “I completely oppose this legislation. In my opinion there are more important things to worry about than registering firearms. We all know that drugs and alcohol kill far more of our people than firearms do.” He further stated that, “The majority of the crimes on the Navajo Nation are drug and alcohol related and that the Navajo Nation needs to address that issue first.”

A key point that Shonie De La Rosa brought up at the public meeting was the NICS (The National Instant Criminal Background Check System). Excerpt from their web site: Mandated by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 and launched by the FBI on November 30, 1998, NICS is used by Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) to instantly determine whether a prospective buyer is eligible to buy firearms. Before ringing up the sale, cashiers call in a check to the FBI or to other designated agencies to ensure that each customer does not have a criminal record or isn’t otherwise ineligible to make a purchase.

Shonie stated that local, state, county and federal agencies contribute criminal records to this NICS database and that the Navajo Nation does not contribute to the NICS database. Therefore, anyone on the Navajo Nation convicted of a crime(s) such as domestic violence, drugs, etc. that would by federal law make an individual prohibited to possess firearms could easily purchase a firearm(s) without their Navajo Nation criminal record showing up on the mandatory NICS background check. “If the Navajo Nation would contribute these criminal records to the federal database, it would make a much better impact than the proposed firearms registration Filfred Davis has proposed to the Navajo Nation.” Said Shonie.

Kayenta Town Manager Gabriel Yazzie stated, “This was a very good meeting and we received a lot of good feedback from the community about this issue. I will take the input from this public meeting to redraft the Kayenta Township resolution Opposing Navajo Nation Legislation No. 0114-17 and present it to the commission at our next meeting.”

On May 8, 2017 the redrafted resolution was presented to the Kayenta Township Commission at their regular scheduled monthly meeting. Kayenta Township resolution #KTCMY-30-17 passed that evening with a vote of 3 in favor, 0 opposed and 0 abstained.

“This is the first step in fighting this very important issue. Now that the Kayenta Township has passed this resolution opposing Filfred’s proposed legislation, everyone on the Navajo Nation needs to encourage their community leaders to do the same and pass resolutions in their chapters opposing this legislation.” Said Shonie.

Bears Ears Overflights

MEDIA ADVISORY: Overflights for Media of Bears Ears National Monument and Press Availability with Utah Dine Bikeyah

Blanding, Utah

Brief description– On Monday, May 8, 2017, at 8:30 am, Utah Diné Bikéyah (UDB) staff and Board Members in conjunction with EcoFLIGHT will provide overflights of Bears Ears National Monument and provide press availability to board members of UDB. Following the flights UDB will offer guided to tours of the Bears Ears landscape by car, foot and/or horseback.

What: Press Availability and Media Overflights of Bears Ears National Monument. Additional field tours by car and/or horseback will be available following the flights at 10:30 AM

Who: Ecoflight: Michael Gorman, Pilot, UDB: Cynthia Wilson, Traditional Foods Program Director, Albert Holiday, Vice President, Oljato Chapter, Mary Jane Yazzie, Ute Mountain Ute, and other representatives from UDB.

Where: Blanding Municipal Airport, 212 Freedom Way, Blanding, UT 84511

When: Monday, May 8, 2017 at 8:30 AM

President Trump issued an executive order on April 26th directing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review and make a recommendation about the future of Bears Ears National Monument within 45 days and for Grand Staircase and other monuments within 120 days. Secretary Zinke will be in Utah between May 7 and 10th and has indicated he will make himself available to the press each day.

Org Backgrounds- Over the past seven years UDB has engaged local communities and elders to develop, advance, and hand-over the Bears Ears proposal to the five Tribes of the Inter-Tribal Coalition. It has an all-Native, eleven-person Board of Directors with one individual from each community in San Juan County and broad local support. UDB works to preserve traditional practice and advance community driven sustainable economic development opportunities. EcoFlight educates and advocates for the protection of remaining wild lands and wildlife habitat through the use of small aircraft.

Please RSVP to Ecoflight at: Michael Gorman/ Jane Pargiter, Phone: (970) 274-4719, (970) 618-5443, Email: Michael@ecoflight.orgOr to UDB at: Cynthia Wilson,, (435) 327-0041, Gavin Noyes, 801-521-7398

Monumental Rally for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments

WHAT:           Citizen rally to defend Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments ahead of visit from Secretary Zinke

WHEN:           Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 1:00 pm to 3:00pm

WHERE:         State of Utah Capitol Building: 350 North State St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111

WHO:             Speaker List: Virgil Johnson, Chairman, Confederated Tribes of the Goshute/ Chairman, Utah Tribal Leaders Association

Patrice Arent, Utah State House of Representatives

Luke Nelson, Recreation Ambassador, Patagonia Corporation

Nate Waggoner, Escalante/ Boulder Chamber of Commerce

Additional Tribal speakers as well as traditional singers/ drummers

  1. S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is coming to Utah next week to review Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. UDB expects 1,000+ Utahns to attend this rally and stand together to show Secretary Zinke that Utahns will defend Bears Ears, Grand Staircase, and National Monuments across the country. Secretary Zinke has not announced any public hearings during his visit scheduled for May 7-10.

President Trump issued an executive order on April 26th directing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review and make a recommendation about the future of Bears Ears National Monument within 45 days and for Grand Staircase and other monuments within 120 days.

For more information, contact Braidan Weeks at 801-372-6438 or Gavin Noyes at 801-521-7398.

Secretary Zinke Congratulates SIPI on Winning Prestigious NASA Competition

WASHINGTON – A team comprised of Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) students won the grand prize of $5,000 and the a Gold Mars Trophy for the physical competition at the 2017 NASA Swarmathon held at the Kennedy Space Center.  The Swarmathon is a robotics programming challenge administered under a cooperative agreement between the NASA Minority University Research and Education Program and The University of New Mexico.  More than 500 students from 40 colleges and 30 high schools participated in the competition held on April 18-20.

“Well done to the brilliant students at SIPI. These young people are breaking new ground and making everyone proud,” said Secretary Ryan Zinke.  “I look forward to following their budding careers in STEM and expect them all to make an impact.” 

This year, Swarmathon teams competing in the physical competition were tasked to develop codes for operating systems that instruct robots to find objects and return them to a designated place without human assistance. Teams created innovative algorithms that have the potential to be further developed for such tasks as cleaning hazardous waste as well as assisting with rescue missions during catastrophic disasters.

“Placing at the top of the 2017 NASA Swarmathon is an outstanding achievement for the students on the team, the SIPI faculty and students, and the Bureau of Indian Education,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Michael S. Black. “These students exemplify how dedication to studies can translate into real life success.”

“The post-secondary schools under the Bureau of Indian Education offer a great education,” said Bureau of Indian Education Director Tony Dearman. “We at the BIE are enormously proud of the SIPI team for successfully tackling these challenges and showing the excellent education SIPI has to offer the students of Indian Country.”

The 2017 Swarmathon SIPI team consisted of Schulte Cooke, a member of the Navajo Nation and studying Geospatial Information Technology; Emery Sutherland, a member of the Navajo Nation and studying Computer Aided Drafting and Design; Christian Martinez, a member of the Pueblo of Laguna studying Network Management; Ty Shurley, a member of the Navajo Nation and studying Engineering and Computer Aided Drafting and Design; Professor Nader Vadiee and Dr. Johathan west, the team’s faculty advisors.  Professor Nader Vadiee is the lead faculty/coordinator of the Engineering and Engineering Technology Programs and the director of the Intelligent Cooperative Multi-Agent Robotic System at SIPI.

SIPI has a history of success at the Swarmathon, placing third in last year’s physical competition.  Established in 1971, SIPI is an accredited National Indian Community College and Land Grant institution located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. SIPI is one of two post-secondary institutions overseen by the Bureau of Indian Education.