Having served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs for the past four years, I worked to empower tribal sovereignty, including in the areas of economic development, job creation, energy development and natural resource management as well as improve health care, education, public safety and housing in tribal communities.
We need to continue to empower tribes to create solutions that work for their members by supporting efforts to strengthen tribal self-governance. Doing so will spur economic development in Indian Country and increase opportunities for tribes. I continue to strive to uphold our trust and treaty responsibly so that tribes in North Dakota have every opportunity to thrive and succeed. In fact, two bills I sponsored, the PROGRESS for Indian Tribes Act and the Indian Community Economic Enhancement Act, became law and provide tribes with tools to further their economic development.
During my time as Chairman, we also prioritized improving public safety in tribal communities. That includes passing Savanna’s Act, legislation named for Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, who was tragically murdered in 2017, that requires law enforcement to develop more effective methods to address missing and murdered Native Americans. Additionally, I established a U.S. Indian Law Enforcement Advanced Training Center at Camp Grafton, which will provide tribal law enforcement in the Great Plains area with the necessary training and skills to serve and meet the challenges in their communities. Further, through my role on the Senate Appropriations Committee, I have worked to advance the goals of my SURVIVE Act by dedicating funding from the Crime Victims Fund (CVF) for tribes to provide services to victims of violence. Each year since FY2018, we have secured more than $150 million from the CVF to assist victims of crime on the reservations.