BOZEMAN, Mont. —U.S. Senator Steve Daines’ bill to support Native children was signed into law on Friday, October 14, 2016.
The bipartisan Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act creates a Commission on Native Children, which will conduct a comprehensive study on the programs, grants, and supports available for Native children, both at government agencies and on the ground in Native communities. The goal is to develop a sustainable system that delivers wrap-around services to Native children.
“I am thrilled to see my bill to help Native children enacted into law,” Daines stated. “This bill is an important step in improving the quality of life for Native children so that they can in turn strengthen the promise of a brighter future for tribal communities.”
The Commission will examine the unique challenges Native children face and make recommendations on how to improve the current system by building on the strengths of Native communities.
The Commission is named in honor of Alyce Spotted Bear, former tribal chairwoman of the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation in North Dakota — a passionate advocate for Native children and a recognized leader in education — and Walter Soboleff, Alaska Native Elder and statesman from the Tlingit tribe in Alaska.
The bill cleared both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives unanimously.