STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS -- (Senate - March 21, 2007)
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By Mr. MCCAIN:
S. 952. A bill to amend the Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental and Native American Public Policy Act of 1992 to provide funds for training in tribal leadership, management, and policy, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Indian Affairs.
Mr. MCCAIN. Mr. President, I am pleased to introduce legislation that would authorize the Native Nations Institute, NNI, for Leadership, Management and Policy. Congressman Grijalva introduced similar legislation in the House of Representatives last week.
In 2000, Congress reauthorized the Morris K. Udall Foundation, an independent Federal agency established in 1992, to expand its organization by providing tribal governments with leadership and management training services. In response, the Morris K. Udall Foundation founded the NNI to serve as a self-determination, self-government and development resource to native nations. Over the past 5 years, the NNI has operated in partnership with the University of Arizona and the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development to provide practical leadership and management training as well as policy analysis in a variety of fields for native people. Approximately 1,700 individuals representing 250 tribes have attended training sessions at the Institute to date.
The Native Nations Institute performs an important role in upholding the Nation's trust obligations to Native Americans by encouraging tribes to move towards self-governance and engaging them in nation building. Although authorization for the NNI expired last year, popular demand for its executive education services now exceeds the organization's resources. The bill I am introducing today would authorize funding for the institute's programs for a period of 5 years beginning in fiscal year 2008.
The Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management and Policy is an organization of great importance for Native Americans. I urge my colleagues to support passage of this bill.