The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Tribal Strategy, just released, is supposed to be designed to better assist Native American tribal lands with FEMA-related assistance. In reality, this strategy aims to do one thing: use the pretense of “inclusion” to channel more federal funds into climate initiatives and advance the Biden-Harris administration’s climate agenda.
President Joe Biden’s views on the “climate crisis” are no secret. The White House website lists the topic as one of the administration’s top priorities, along with COVID-19, while critical issues like immigration are low on the list.
Two days before the introduction of the National Tribal Strategy, Mr. Biden signed the Cut Inflation Act, which allocates $369 billion for “energy security and climate change,” and announced that FEMA would get more than $3 billion in funds to “increase climate resilience nationwide.” through the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Grant, or BRIC, and the Flood Mitigation Assistance Program, or FMA.
BRIC will double its funding to $2.3 billion, while FMA will see a fivefold increase to $800 million.
Obviously, when it comes to wasting taxpayers’ money, there is a theme. The funds will not be used to secure the border, and they will not be used for school choice, but the government will give you a tax refund for buying a Prius or investing in wind turbines or solar panels.
For its part, the National Tribal Strategy directly states that tribes should prioritize the White House Council Committee on Native American Affairs that deals with climate-related initiatives, called the Committee on Climate Change, Tribal Lands and Treaties. .
In addition to using a supposedly marginalized population to advance its left-wing agenda, FEMA’s strategy is riddled with deception. Tribal people could already access federal emergency grants by applying through the states in which they reside, and President Barack Obama’s Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 allowed tribal governments to directly apply for disaster declarations. and presidential declarations of emergency, instead of going through their states.
Executive Order 13985 on “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities through the Federal Government and DHS (Department of Homeland Security)” Equity Action Plan was introduced during the Mr. Biden’s first month in office. The policies state that climate-related events only exacerbate the inequalities that minority populations face. In reality, these policies, along with FEMA’s National Tribal Strategy, are just examples of how the left is using concepts like “cultural competence” and “integrated equity” as pretexts to force its green narrative.
FEMA has long used tribal terminology to allocate funds, provide access to resources, and recognize the sovereignty of Native American populations. The concepts proposed by the National Tribal Strategy are no different, proving that this strategy is simply a vehicle for Mr. Biden’s other top priority: pushing the left-wing version of “equity” through the use of identity politics when these tribal communities are already receiving aid from FEMA.
While this strategy would suggest that tribal people had no ability, desire, or expertise when it comes to obtaining federal grants, FEMA has allocated funds for tribal grants and resources for years. .
Likely, as stated in the strategy, taxpayer dollars will be used to translate FEMA documents into over 150 different Native American languages. Will they be mass produced and distributed to different tribes? Not very green, if you ask me.
All of this begs the question: Does the Biden administration really care about Native American populations, or is it just using them to find a way to allocate more federal funds to climate-related initiatives? Does the Biden administration assume that all Native American tribes will agree with its climate strategy? By tying climate initiatives to FEMA funding, will FEMA deny emergency resources to those who disagree with the administration’s leftist ideology?
Currently, FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund has spent over $31 billion. That’s more than several other Department of Homeland Security agencies (US Customs and Border Protection, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Transportation Security Administration and US Coast Guard) spent together. DHS avoids allocating funds to highly critical areas and channels them directly to FEMA’s climate programs.
Tribal communities should not be used by the Biden administration as political pawns to further push leftist ideologies such as climate change and identity politics. This is an insult to both Native Americans and American taxpayers as a whole.
• Hannah Davis is a researcher at the Border Security & Immigration Center of The Heritage Foundation.