At the request of many in Indian Country, the Department of the Interior/Bureau of Indian Affairs recently announced an extension of the comment period for potential revisions to Indian Trader regulations. You now have until October 30th to make your voice heard. The easiest way to submit comments is via email at consulation@bia.gov. You can also send in written input to the below address (must be received by October 30th):

Attn: Revise Indian Trader Rule
Office of Regulatory Affairs & Collaborate Action
Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs
1849 C St. NW, Mail Stop 4660-MIB
Washington, DC 20240

If you are in Alaska, or planning to attend the Alaska Federation of Native Annual Convention in Anchorage, BIA is hosting a consultation on October 21 from 9 – 11 a.m. local time at the below address:

Alaska Federation of Natives Annual Convention
Dena’ina Civc and Convention Center
Room 3 (2nd Floor of the Dena’ina Center)
600 W 7th Ave.
Anchorage, AK 99501

For additional information and potential schedule changes, please visit: https://www.indianaffairs.gov/as-ia/raca/indian-traders-25-cfr-140

The Indian Trader Regulations, which cover businesses operating on tribal lands, were originally put into place in 1957, and haven’t been updated since 1984. This is a key opportunity to ensure that federal regulations are in-line with the modern economy of both the United States and tribal nations. You can view the National Center’s comments submitted earlier this year by clicking here.

In its request for comments, BIA outlined several specific areas in which they want your feedback. These are:

  1. Specific projects that your tribal organization cannot initiate or approve under existing regulatory requirements, but which you believe could move forward if new regulations gave tribes greater economic flexibility. For each project include:
    1. The industry sector;
    2. Details regarding Indian Country capital investment under the project;
    3. Details regarding the annual revenue associated with the project;
    4. The number of jobs that could be created under the project; and
    5. Any specific impediment preventing forward progress on the project.
  2. Any economic impact studies on the benefits of Indian Country economic development to surrounding communities
  3. Specific treaty provisions that require the United States to protect tribal economic interests.

If you haven’t done so already, we encourage you to submit comments and make your voice heard. These regulations are not updated very often; let’s make sure they are written to reflect the diversity of the economy in Indian Country.

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