Rancheria enhances autonomy
- Smith River enters new agreement Jan. 1
Federal funding to Smith River Rancheria will soon take a more direct course.
On Jan. 1 the tribe will enter into a self-governance agreement with the Department of the Interior, which reduces regional oversight and allows the tribal goverment to run programs, services, functions and activities previously overseen through a compact with the department�s Bureau of Indian Affairs.
�We take out a layer there. That�s important because it means there�s more money for the community,� said Smith River Tribal Chairwoman Kara Brundin-Miller.
Administrative costs can take a bite out of funds that must cycle through BIA offices from Washington, D.C., to Redding before making it to the reservation, she explained.
�As a tribe they�ve pulled together to take this official action, so they get to work with us directly,� said Department of the Interior spokeswoman Nedra Darling. �They will manage their own tribe. That�s pretty empowering for tribal governments to do that.�
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