U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines joined a group of bipartisan senators to urge U.S. Department of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to establish an Office of Tribal Affairs to strengthen the Department’s relationship with Montana’s tribal nations and provide more in-house expertise on matters affecting Indian Country.
“The recent tribal consultations and interactions between Treasury and tribal nations underscore the need for sufficient, dedicated, in-house expertise at Treasury on tribal policy matters. The establishment of such an office has support from Indian Country and would improve Treasury’s ability to fulfill its trust responsibilities to respect the nation-to-nation relationship between the federal government and tribal nations,” the letter states.
Read the letter HERE.
Treasury has long had a role in matters, including tax and finance issues, that have seriously affected the welfare and sovereignty of some tribal nations. This role has increased over time and has become extremely important during the COVID-19 pandemic as Congress charged Treasury with the crucial responsibility of disbursing to tribal nations billions of dollars in relief funds. The Internal Revenue Service, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Community Development Financial Institutions Program, and the Office of Recovery Programs are just some of the Treasury components that make decisions with enormous impact on tribal nations on COVID-19 relief implementation, tribal economic development, taxation and tax incentives, capital finance and capital needs, trade policy, and more.