COLT member Tribes discuss funding levels, buffalo restoration in D.C.

Chairman Weatherwax

Representatives from COLT Tribes have emphasized the urgent need for increased funding from Congress to support the expansion and maintenance of their criminal justice systems, nearly four years after the landmark McGirt v. Oklahoma ruling.

Testifying before a House appropriations subcommittee, tribal leaders highlighted the inadequacy of current funding levels to address the repercussions of the Supreme Court decision, particularly concerning law enforcement on tribal reservations.

COLT leaders and representatives with Senator Jon Tester.

John Pettigrew, acting police chief of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, illustrated the funding shortfall in law enforcement, stating that federal funding covers only 15% of the actual need on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Tribal leadership urged Congress to provide direct funding to support the expansion of tribal justice systems, building on similar funding provided in recent years.

The funding shortfall stemming from the McGirt decision has prompted ongoing discussions in Congress. Lawmakers have allocated additional funds to federal courts and law enforcement agencies to manage the increased caseload moving from state to federal courts.

COLT leaders and representatives with Senator Warren

COLT leaders and representatives with Senator Warren

COLT Advocates for Buffalo Restoration

COLT and the ITBC have been meeting with leadership at the DOI this week, addressing the need for Buffalo Restoration across many tribal lands.

The Coalition of Large Tribes passed a resolution on 3/10/24, in Support of the InterTribal Buffalo Council Obtaining Acreage at Medano-Zapata Ranch to Establish an Intertribal Buffalo Herd.

COLT also passed a resolution in Support of the Indian Buffalo Management Act and Continued DOI Contracting with Tribal Entities Such as ITBC for Tribally-Driven Buffalo Restoration and Management
Efforts (12/9/2023)

Additional Media Coverage

Cherokee, Muscogee nations call for more public safety funding from US (