Politics
A woman performs a traditional Native American dance during the North American Indian Days celebration on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Browning, Mont., Friday, July 13, 2018. CREDIT: DAVID GOLDMAN/AP
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A woman performs a traditional Native American dance during the North American Indian Days celebration on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Browning, Mont., Friday, July 13, 2018. CREDIT: DAVID GOLDMAN/AP

The U.S. government is failing its treaties with Native Americans, Civil Rights Commission says

The lengthy report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights calls on Congress to put together an action plan.

The report, "Broken Promises", shows the government is woefully inadequate in its funding of tribal communities. It's an update to a 2003 study on the status of tribal communities, and reveals that conditions have not much improved in those 15 years.

The report came at the request of 20 Congress members in 2015, including Democrat Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor.

The federal government is treaty-bound to support tribes through funding 20 organizations that work with tribal communities. According to the report, however, that funding is insufficient and some reservations still lack electricity, running water and internet.

Kilmer said that the report is not surprising and that Congress has long failed Native Americans.

"Clearly this report is in essence an indictment of the federal government, of the failings of the federal government to step up and provide adequate funding for Native Americans," Kilmer said.

Kilmer said the report is a call to action and that he wants to see Congress approve more funding for tribal communities.

Kilmer wants financial support for tribes in Washington that are losing part of their reservations to rising sea waters, for example.

As it stands, federal funding for tribal communities is lower in the 2019 budget than it was this year.