2,000-Plus Indian Affairs Employees Told Not to Come to Work



The government has been shut down for just over 12 hours, with thousands of government employees on non-paid leave until Congress and the President can come to an agreement on a spending bill. Approximately 800,000 non-essential government employees were furloughed. Among those on non-paid leave are almost 3,000 who work on Native American issues throughout Indian country.

RELATED: Government Shutdown Frustrates Tribal Leaders

At the U.S. Department of the Interior, 2,860 of the 8,143 employees focused on Indian affairs will be laid off during this shutdown. At the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the following programs will be halted, according to the DOI.gov/shutdown website: management and protection of trust assets such as lease compliance and real estate transactions; federal oversight on environmental assessments, archeological clearances, and endangered species compliance; management of oil and gas leasing and compliance; timber harvest and other natural resource management operations; tribal government related activities; payment of financial assistance to needy individuals, and to vendors providing foster care and residential care for children and adults; and disbursement of tribal funds for tribal operations including responding to tribal government request.

The situation is less dire at Interior than it was during shutdowns in the 1990s, Interior officials said, because they have since implemented a forward-funding plan in the areas of education and transportation, which will keep the employees in those areas working. There is also a comparatively larger law enforcement staff that will remain on duty through the shutdown, and power and irrigation employees will be able to continue working to deliver power and water to tribal communities because their salaries are generated from collections, not appropriated funds.

Employees at the Indian Health Service (IHS), which provides direct health service to tribal citizens, will be largely unaffected by the shutdown. Under Department of Health and Service’s shutdown plan, IHS will continue to provide direct clinical health care services as well as referrals for contracted services that cannot be provided through IHS clinics. On the negative side, “IHS would be unable to provide funding to Tribes and Urban Indian health programs, and would not perform national policy development and issuance, oversight, and other functions, except those necessary to meet the immediate needs of the patients, medical staff, and medical facilities,” according to a plan released by the agency.



candyo's picture
Submitted by candyo on

Not too many people are happy about this government shut-down, and some people are down right angry about it. I know the businesses who cannot afford to pay for their employees healthcare are switching them to part-time help so they aren't slapped with a bunch of fees by the IRS or audited at the end of the year. Forget about downsizing of our military and the sequestration which sounds like the movie they showed us in high school when we went through puberty... Who makes up these words? I think the government thinks they are too big to fail, like the banks were when the glass-steagle act was signed away by Clinton with one stroke of a pen. Then, it was a free-fall for regulations at the Fanny Mae house and Freddie Mac who started foreclosure on the middle-class working poor. I think there was an agreement beforehand with China, we'll gettim out of the houses if you take all this phony papermill and roll it up into a big fatty and smoke-it. Please take this job and shove it cause I ain't workin here no more! There's a few mistakes made by Georgie Porgie, one- he couldn't find those weapons of mass destruction and now Obama found them but doesn't have any military to do anything about it. Plus, Georgio2 could'nt find Waldo until our drones had a fly over in Pakistan and surprise, surprise, I spy a man the same height as you know who and called him Geronimo, I can't believe they forgot his real name. He's probably living like a King in the Apache forest somewhere. And please don't pass the Keystone Pipeline, thats just what the foreigners want us to do so they can destroy our water supply and kill our crops cause they know no one can clean-up that tarsands stuff not babo or comet or dawn detergent will cut that stuff. Forget about the wildlife, there won't be any to eat after the spills that are inevitable. I don't want to be cynical about it but I do like to drink clean water and still filter it twice through my brita just to be sure its drinkable. Tell the govt to turn out the lights cause this is not a Motel 6...