Helping America’s Tribal Countries Isn’t Foreign Aid


If your time is short

  • The financial assistance to the tribal states would be foreign aid, said Nick Myers, the Republican Arizona Foundation Committee candidate.
  • Federally recognized tribal states are sovereign “domestic vassals” within the United States and are not considered foreign governments.
  • Federal support in the tribal areas comes mainly from the Ministry of the Interior. Nothing comes from the State Department.

Look at the sources for this fact check


Renewable energy and the transition away from fossil fuels is a major issue for the Arizona Corporation’s committee. In a recent debate, Republican candidate Nick Myers said neither the state nor utility rate payers should compensate the Navajo Nation for shutting down a large coal-fired power plant near Page, Arizona.

“Wage payers in Arizona do not have a duty to receive foreign aid,” Myers said in the Arizona newspaper. September 12 Discussion on the PBS Arizona Program. “If you’re talking about tribal lands, foreign aid is subject to the federal government.”

Federal aid to tribal governments is not foreign aid.

Tribal states are sovereign, not foreign

Although the Navajo Nation has a “nation” in its name, it is not considered a foreign government. Supreme Court rulings Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831) and Worcester v. Georgia (1832) Tribal nations were defined as “locally dependent nations”. This applies to the 574 federally recognized Native American tribes in the United States.

The land of the Navajo Nation was originally inhabited by the indigenous Navajo people. The US government took it away, and set the current reservation limits.

Through acts of Congress such as Indian Self-Determination and Education Act 1975, federally recognized tribes are able to exercise greater sovereignty in their governmental affairs. The federal government provides some support for education, health and social services.

budgets Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Interior Department In 2023, the Home Office has a department dedicated to Indian affairs. The State Department budget does not contain programs for tribal states.

Myers told PolitiFact that National Congress of the American Indian, an organization that aims to secure the rights of tribes, “seems to be proud of being independent and federally recognized nations.” He added that The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says “They are responsible for making US payments to international organizations.”

Neither situation makes tribal groups eligible for foreign aid.

Closure of coal plants affects tribal communities

In November 2019, the coal-fired power plant known as the Navajo Power Plant near Page, Arizona, and the Kayenta mine that supplied coal for the plant were permanently closed. The impact of the lockdown on the surrounding community and the Navajo Nation, Costing hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in lost revenue.

The Arizona Corporation held several meetings where it called on residents of Navajo and the neighboring Hopi nation to help transition to renewable energy and economic recovery. No decision has been made, and new members of the Arizona corporation’s commission are expected to face this problem in the future as other coal-fired power plants near the Navajo Nation are expected to close.

our judgment

Myers said that financial assistance to tribal nations falls under “foreign aid” that is “subject to the federal government.”

The US Supreme Court and federal laws designate 574 federally recognized tribal states as “locally dependent nations”. Federal funds intended for tribal governments primarily flow through the US Department of the Interior and are not classified as foreign aid.

We evaluate this pants claim on fire.


our sources

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