Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day by Understanding the Federal Laws That Govern Our Trust and Treaty Obligations to Indian Country

In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Natural Resources Democrats are remembering the foundational laws that uphold the rights of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities and acknowledging the work that remains to be done to strengthen the federal trust responsibility.

The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act

The Indian Health Care Improvement Act

The Indian-Self Determination and Education Assistance Act

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

The Indian Child Welfare Act

These laws are just a few of the statutes that have made important progress towards justice and equity for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities over the past century. The work doesn’t stop here. Legislative solutions for issues affecting American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians are critical components of Chair Raúl M. Grijalva’s policy agenda. In May 2021, Chair Grijalva introduced the RESPECT Act, which will codify tribal consultation procedures at the federal level and ensures that tribal leaders have an equitable seat at the table.

We’ve had big successes in Congress that uphold the federal trust responsibility and protect the rights of Indigenous peoples. Let’s reflect on this history and use it as a starting point for making fundamental changes that will support generations to come.



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Nat Resources Dems

House Natural Resources Committee Democrats, U.S. House of Representatives.