NAFSA Applauds Senate Committee On Indian Affairs' Commitment To Tribal Self-Governance

Sep 25, 2012, 10:00 ET from Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA)

WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) today applauded the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs' continuing commitment to the enduring strength of federal-tribal relations.

During the hearing on Thursday, September 20, 2012, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs made it clear that the tribes have the undisputed right of self-governance and self-determination. Indeed, testimony throughout this hearing repeatedly reinforced the principle that self-governance and self-determination are fundamental components of Native American culture and vital elements of every Native American community across the country.

Specifically, self-governance and self-determination compacts make it possible for even the most rural tribes to generate needed revenue through their own businesses, operate effective law enforcement systems, and improve school curriculums that better meet the needs of all Native American students.

Barry Brandon, Executive Director of NAFSA, voiced his organization's full-throated endorsement of the Indian Affairs Committee's actions – led by Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI) –and noted the importance of self-directed economic growth initiatives.

"We deeply appreciate Senator Akaka's and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs' commitment to preserving native culture, protecting self-governance, and promoting self-determination rights," Brandon said. "Our members are steadfast in their agreement that self-reliance and self-determination are keys to the government-to-government relationship between tribes and the federal government."

As background, The U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Self-Governance is responsible for the execution of the Tribal Self Governance Act of 1994. President Clinton on October 25, 1994, signed the Tribal Self Governance Act of 1994 into law. At last week's hearing, Lawrence Roberts, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs for The Department of the Interior; Ian Erlich, President of Maniilaq Native Association; Charles Head, Secretary of State for Cherokee Nation; and Noelani Kalipi, President of TiLeaf Group, testified. Their testimony can be found here.

The Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) formed in 2012 to advocate for Native American sovereign rights and enable tribes to offer responsible online lending products.  Through the protection of consumer rights and sovereign immunity, NAFSA provides vital services to tribally operated lenders serving the under-banked with better short term financial services, furthering economic development opportunities in Indian Country.

SOURCE Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA)