November 14: 5 Things You Need to Know This Week

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Photo of the Week: A belated Happy Veterans’ Day to all the Native veterans who served in the United States of America Armed Forces.

1. NAFOA IN THE NEWS: SOCIAL SECURITY CREATES OFFICE TO FOCUS ON TRIBAL OUTREACH

 

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has established an Office of Native American Partnerships to better represent and advocate for tribal communities.

In announcing the initiative Oct. 4, the SSA said the new office would “elevate and centralize” efforts to administer programs and policies affecting what it terms American Indians and Alaska Natives, or AIAN, and serve as Social Security’s primary point of contact on tribal matters.


“We are excited about the recent formation of its Office of Native American Partnerships,” says Rico Frias, a member of the Chihene Nde Nation of New Mexico and executive director of NAFOA, an association of tribal finance officers. “This dedicated effort to reach tribes and eligible American Indians and Alaska Natives is a necessary step in decreasing access barriers to eligible benefits.”


2. GRANTS: ALASKA NATIVE AND NATIVE HAWAIIAN CULTURE AND ARTS DEVELOPMENT GRANT PROGRAM DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to make grants for the purpose of supporting programs for Native Hawaiian or Alaska Native culture and arts development to any private, nonprofit organization or institution which—

  1. primarily serves and represents Native Hawaiians or Alaska Natives, and
  2. has been recognized by the Governor of the State of Hawaii or the Governor of the State of Alaska, as appropriate, for the purpose of making such organization or institution eligible to receive such grants.

Grants will enhance culture and art programs, including traditional and contemporary expressions of language, history, visual and performing arts, and crafts. Programs may

  1. provide scholarly study of, and instruction in, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian traditional and contemporary arts and culture,
  2. establish centers and educational programs that lead to degrees in Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian art and culture programs, and/or
  3. establish programs that develop traditional and contemporary arts in the community through coordinate efforts to preserve, support, revitalize, and develop evolving forms of Indian art and culture (as defined in 20 U.S.C. § 4402(1)). Examples include: a Departments of Arts and Sciences, fellowship programs, seminars, scholar in residence, inter-institutional programs of cooperation at national and international levels, visual arts, performance arts, language, literature, museology, and learning resource centers.

This is a new program in Fiscal Year 2023. The National Park Service administers this grant program and is interested in developing this program for Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian culture and arts programs. 

Electronically submitted applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM, PT on Jan 09, 2023.


3. EVENTS: 2022 CENTER FOR INDIAN COUNTRY DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH SUMMIT: UNLOCKING OUR FULL ECONOMIC POTENTIAL

December 1 – 2, 2022 | 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. CT

As part of its mission to support tribal economic prosperity, the Center for Indian Country Development (CICD) at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis conducts and supports policy-relevant research on key questions that matter for Indian Country. We invite you to join us December 1–2 for an open discussion of new insights and opportunities at CICD’s annual research summit. The theme of this year’s summit is Unlocking Our Full Economic Potential.

The 2022 summit will feature panels of tribal leaders and federal policymakers discussing tribal sovereignty in research and data collection as well as opportunities to inform policy and fiscal decisions. The summit will cover a variety of topics related to economic prosperity in Indian Country, from tribal government bonding to Census differential privacy to pandemic recovery. Social scientists and rising student researchers will briefly present their findings in an accessible way, with tribal leaders and practitioners giving their reactions. CICD staff will also demonstrate tools that policymakers and practitioners can use to inform their decision-making.

The summit is intended for stakeholders who care about better research that can help tribes achieve their economic and social objectives.


4. FROM THE NAFOA NAVIGATOR: READY OR NOT

By Scott Huebert, Partner, Finley & Cook, P.L.L.C.

After two years of delays and a completely changed world environment, GASB 87 – Leases, is set to become effective for fiscal years ending on or after June 30, 2022. If you recall, GASB 87 is a major change in how we account for lease agreements. The purpose of this article is to provide a basic understanding of the new pronouncement and to identify the key points to consider in preparations for its implementation. The basic objective of the statement is to quantify and present the full value of the lease on the statement of net position.

Currently, if you are in contract with a vendor for a lease it is generally accounted for as an expense during the period you pay for the lease. With GASB 87’s implementation, however, the lease will be a liability for the full life of the lease to be amortized over that lease period. The same is true if you are leasing to another entity the right to use a tribal asset. In that case, a receivable will be created for the life of the lease and amortized over the lease period. With either scenario the result is an increase in assets or liabilities on your statement of net position that wasn’t presented previously


5. JOBS: COLUMBIA RIVER INTER TRIBAL FISH COMMISSION IS SEEKING CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Since 1977, the Columbia River Inter Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) and its member tribes (Nez Perce, Umatilla, Warm Springs and Yakama) have been working together to put fish back in rivers.

CRITFC seeks a dynamic and skilled financial leader to be our next Chief Financial Officer. The CFO will provide strategic management for the finance and accounting functions of one of Portland’s top nonprofit organizations. The CFO will serve as a close partner to the Executive Director and will have broad responsibility for CRITFC’s success. This is an excellent opportunity for a finance and accounting leader to make a step up in their career and help the four member tribes’ salmon restoration efforts. Prior CFO experience is not required.


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