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A. The legislature finds that many residents of this state living within Indian country are impoverished and are involuntarily living without electric service, indoor plumbing, adequate potable water, telecommunications or related infrastructure due to federal government policies over the decades. This finding is based upon federal decennial census data showing that Native Americans living in Indian country have a long history of income below federal poverty levels and a lack of basic domestic amenities. Living under such adverse circumstances has a negative impact on the education of children at the elementary and secondary school levels and on the health and welfare of Native Americans in general.
B. Since the nineteenth century, the federal government has assumed a trust responsibility for Native Americans, but since New Mexico attained statehood, it has had a responsibility for its Native American residents.
C. The legislature finds it is the policy of the state of New Mexico to improve the basic quality of life of residents within Indian country through the use of any means available.
D. The purpose of this act is in part to enable the state, in compliance with the provisions of the constitution of New Mexico, to provide financial assistance to residents within Indian country so that they may be served by basic residential services such as electric service, indoor plumbing, sewer, adequate potable water, telecommunications and related infrastructure.
E. The state has developed government-to-government relationships and agreements with the twenty-two Indian nations, tribes and pueblos in New Mexico regarding education and other topics. To better provide services to Native Americans, many state agencies have designated divisions or liaisons to work with the nations, tribes and pueblos.
F. The state has worked with Indian nations, tribes and pueblos, of which the Navajo Nation is the largest tribal government, and recognizes that the Navajo Nation is divided into political subdivisions designated as chapters.
G. Due to federal, state and tribal policies related to the implementation of capital outlay and other projects, delays in implementation due to bureaucratic red tape have resulted in the reversion of millions of dollars in capital outlay funds designated for projects in Indian country.
H. Tribal governments and their subdivisions have, through the years, organized nonprofit entities to assist in the provision of education and other basic services.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - New Mexico Statutes Chapter 6. Public Finances § 6-28-1. Legislative findings and purpose - last updated May 06, 2021 | https://codes.findlaw.com/nm/chapter-6-public-finances/nm-st-sect-6-28-1/
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