It was a historic moment at Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation Tuesday when the chairman of the Chippewa Cree Tribe and the regional director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency signed a nation-to-nation agreement allowing the Tribal government to administer its own disaster recovery funds.
“I think it goes a long way for tribal nations as a whole, proving the sovereignty of the tribes,” Chairman Raymond “Jake” Parker said in an interview after the signing ceremony.
The Tribe elected to act as its own administrator after President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration for the region stemming from severe flooding in June. Normally, the state government acts as the grantee, with local governments, including tribal governments, acting as a subgrantee for federal disaster funds.
Robin Finegan, director of FEMA’s Region 8 that includes Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota, Utah and Colorado said this is the first time in the region’s history that a government other than a state government acted as the grantee. She congratulated the Chippewa Cree Tribe for its work — and determination — to administer its own funds.
“This is not an easy project to take on,” she said.
The signing ceremony is the next step in Rocky Boy gaining the funds to help pay for its disaster recovery.
Last week President Barack Obama approved the Tribe receiving 100-percent funding for its disaster recovery, rather than the standard 75-percent-25-percent or even 90-percent-10-percent cost share requirement.
This is the third time permanent disaster recovery work has been approved to be paid fully by the federal government. The other occasions, both mandated by Congress, were after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States and the Cerro Grande Wildfire in New Mexico in 2000.
Breaking news: Rocky Boy, U.S. government sign nation-to-nation agreement
Published: Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
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