Secretary Haaland Streamlines Tribal Water Law Processing

Rescinds 1975 memorandum directing no approval for any tribal ordinance.

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland rescinded a memorandum this month that was issued by previous Secretary Rogers C.B. Morton in 1975. The memorandum directed “all [Bureau of Indian Affairs’] superintendents and area directors to disapprove any tribal ordinance, resolution, code, or other enactment” meant to regulate water use on reservations and tribal lands. With the rescinding of this memorandum, tribal nations are now able to propose water codes to the DOI for approval and processing.

“The ‘Morton moratorium’ is inconsistent with the Department’s commitment to upholding Tribal self-determination and the federal trust responsibility to support Tribal sovereignty,” said Secretary Haaland. “Today’s action underscores our efforts to move forward in this new era.”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Indian Affairs Director LaCounte as he works with tribal leaders and nations on water codes.
  • For Indian Affairs Assistance Secretary Newland as he oversees the federal governments’ interactions with Native American reservations.
  • For Secretary Haaland to seek God’s guidance as she heads the Interior Department.

Sources: Department of the Interior


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