Native News Network Staff in Native Currents. Discussion »
WASHINGTON On July 2, Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Del Laverdure sent tribal leaders a letter informing Indian country that the Bureau of Indian Affairs would not be releasing the "2010 Indian Population and Labor Force Report" because "of methodology inconsistencies" collecting data.
“The collected data from those 2010 methods did not adequately meet the standards of quality and reliability that are required of Federal agencies in reporting official statistics,”
Read the complete letter to Tribal Leaders »
The Indian Employment, Training, and Related Sevices Demonstration Act of 1992 requires the Bureau of Indian Affairs to issue a report every two years on the American Indian and Alaska Native population by gender, income level, age and availability for employment.
There has not been a report release by the Bureau of Indian Affairs since 2005.
Not willing to accept Mr. Laverdure's letter, on Monday, US Senators Lisa Murkowski, R - Alaska, and John Barrasso, R - Wyoming, wrote to Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar regarding the Interior Department's failure to issue the American Indian Population and Labor Report as required.
In a letter sent from the two United States senators, who serve on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, criticize the Department of the Interior for failing to release vital labor information which will help Congress, Alaska Natives and Indian tribes evaluate employment conditions in Indian country.They also believe taxpayers deserve information about the effectiveness of the $3 billion provided to Indian country as part of the Obama administration's 2009 stimulus bill.
Senators Barrasso and Murkowski write:
“We agree that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - ARRA - was not a solution for growing Indian country economies. Yet the Department is withholding information which will assist Congress and Indian tribes in evaluating the effectiveness of ARRA, economic conditions and developing strategies for long-term economic growth.”
“Despite assurances from officials within the Department of Interior that they will meet their statutory obligations, the Department has failed to comply with the reporting requirements of the 1992 Act. We ask that you immediately release the report, or in the alternative, provide a complete explanation as to why the Department of Interior, despite prior assurances otherwise, has failed to comply with the law ”
revised 10:57 am edt; posted July 17, 2012 7:40 am edt