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Legislation Legacy

ETH/125: Cultural Diversity
December 9th, 2011

Legislation Legacy
Disaster relief has long been a topic of debate between Native Americans and the federal government. Just two days ago, on December 7th, 2011, President Obama and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) announced that they were in support to changes to the Stafford Act to make this happen. The Stafford Act currently allows states in a crisis to request emergency assistance from the President through their governor. Currently, Native Americans are not included, but that could soon change (National Congress of American Indians, 2006).
In the past, when tribes faced disaster, they had to ask the governor of their state for assistance, but typically faced long delays or no help at all. The changes would allow tribal leaders to directly request help, recognizing tribal sovereignty. President Obama addressed the Native American community addressing this issue and others. While this issue must still be decided by Congress, he did make progress in another topic; Native American Educational Opportunities. He signed an executive order to increase funding to Tribal schools, and increase access to excellent teachers while preserving native languages and culture. It was Executive Order 13592, and was released on December 2nd, 2011 (White House, 2011). The current developments bring much hope to the Tribal Nations.

National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). (2006). NCAI Commends FEMA Support for Direct Authority of Tribal Governments to Apply for Presidential Disaster Declaration. Retrieved from[tt_news]=799&tx_ttnews[backPid]=9&cHash=288dc8d985
White House. (2011). Executive Order 13592. Retrieved from...

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