On March 1, the federal government will start budget cuts that are going to have a large impact on the Native American community. Ken Salazar, the Department of Interior secretary, claimed that the tribes will lose almost $130 million from his department. This would mean that 2,400 Natives each month would stop receiving payments from the General Assistance program.
The Department of Education would also cut $60 million from K-12 school districts on federal lands, including the reservations. The Bureau of Indian Affairs stated schools would have to choose between reducing staff, services, or the number of school days. As a member of the Native community, I know that we cannot afford these cuts. We cannot solve the deficit on the backs of the Native community.