For Immediate Release
DHS Press Office
WASHINGTON— Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson delivered remarks to the National Congress of American Indians’ 2014 Executive Council Winter Session-Legislative Summit—discussing the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) collaboration with our tribal partners in homeland security efforts and addressed current challenges faced by Indian Tribal governments.
During his remarks, Secretary Johnson highlighted the Department’s work with tribes on emergency management by supporting tribal communities before, during and after disasters. Over the past several years, DHS has provided more than $39 million in grant funding to enhance preparedness efforts of tribes–continuously allocating more funding than the Congressional minimum mandated by the 9/11 Act.
As part of the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013, DHS supported the amendment to the Stafford Act affirming the sovereignty of tribal governments to directly request a federal emergency or major disaster declaration. DHS and FEMA are actively engaging tribes on the implementation of this amendment, and 6 major disaster declarations have been issued to Tribal governments.
Secretary Johnson also discussed the important role tribes play in border security, highlighting the work that U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and other DHS components are doing to include tribes in their current and planned operations—emphasizing the importance of continuing this kind of communication and inclusion of federally recognized Indian Tribes in developing the Department’s policies and strategies.
Earlier this year, the DHS Office of Intergovernmental Affairs announced Dr. David Munro as the new Director of Tribal Affairs to serve as the main point of contact at DHS for engagement with Indian Tribes and the national Tribal associations. Dr. Munro oversees the Department’s continuing efforts to coordinate and consult with the nation’s 566 federally recognized Tribes, further strengthening our government-to-government relationships.
For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.