AB516 – In Honor of Native American Heritage Month
To celebrate Native American Heritage Month, we are sharing all the favorable outcomes of the 82nd Legislative Session.
As all our relatives become more engaged in civic matters, please know that the bill which “revises provisions relating to the Nevada Indian Commission,” is now a law.
Existing law creates the Nevada Indian Commission in the Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. (NRS 231.167, 233.020)
Section 8 of this bill creates the Department of Native American Affairs, which consists of the Executive Director of the Department, the Nevada Indian Commission and the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center and Museum.
Section 7 of this bill sets forth a legislative declaration that the creation of the Department of Native American Affairs and the provisions of the Nevada Revised Statutes relating to the Department are not intended to infringe upon the sovereignty of Indian tribes.
Sections 1 and 11 of this bill transfer the Nevada Indian Commission from the Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs to the Department of Native American Affairs.
Sections 2 and 3 of this bill make conforming changes to remove certain responsibilities of the Chair of the Nevada Indian Commission relating to the Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs.
Section 10 of this bill defines certain terms relating to the Department of Native American Affairs.
Section 6 of this bill indicates the proper placement of sections 7-9 in the Nevada Revised Statutes.
Existing law requires the Governor to appoint an Executive Director of the Commission who is jointly responsible to the Governor and the Commission and establishes certain responsibilities for the Executive Director. (NRS 233A.055, 233A.065)
Section 12 of this bill instead requires the Governor to appoint an Executive Director of the Department of Native American Affairs.
Section 13 of this bill:
(1) assigns the responsibilities of the Executive Director of the Commission to the Executive Director of the Department;
(2) removes language providing that the Executive Director is jointly responsible to the Governor and the Commission; and
(3) requires the Executive Director to oversee the functions of the Department.
Section 14 of this bill authorizes the Executive Director to appoint such staff as the execution of his or her duties and the operation of the Department may require.
Existing law creates the Account for the Protection and Rehabilitation of the Stewart Indian School which is administered by the Director of the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. (NRS 232.159)
Sections 4, 5, 9 and 33 of this bill transfer the responsibility for administering the Account to the Executive Director.
Existing law authorizes the Administrator of the Division of State Lands of the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to make a direct sale of two parcels of state land located within Carson City and requires the money from such a sale, less any costs, to be deposited in the Account. (NRS 232.159)
Section 9 authorizes the Administrator to also lease such parcels of state land and requires the money from any such lease, less any costs, to be deposited in the Account.
Existing law sets forth various duties of the Nevada Indian Commission which include:
(1) acting as the coordinating agency for discussions regarding activities at and the uses of the buildings and grounds of the former Stewart Indian School; and
(2) scheduling and coordinating certain activities relating to “Nevada Tribes Legislative Day.” (NRS 233A.090-233A.100)
Sections 15 and 16 of this bill instead assign such duties to the Department. Section 15 of this bill directs the Commission to:
(1) provide recommendations and advice to the Executive Director concerning the administration of the Department and any other matter relating to the social and economic welfare and well-being of American Indians residing in this State;
(2) provide direction to the Executive Director concerning any reports prepared by the Department and review drafts of such reports; and
(3) receive reports from the Executive Director and provide direction to the Executive Director to ensure any measures taken by the Department are effective.
Section 19 of this bill authorizes the Department of Native American Affairs to appoint advisory committees to assist and advise the Commission, negotiate, and contract with other agencies, cooperate with and secure the cooperation of various entities and provide certain information or assistance to the Department of Wildlife.
Section 28 of this bill makes a conforming change to provide that the Department of Native American Affairs may provide certain information or assistance to the Department of Wildlife. Existing law creates the Nevada Indian Commission’s Gift Fund as a special revenue fund administered by the Executive Director of the Commission. (NRS 233A.097)
Section 18 of this bill revises the name of the Fund to the Department of Native American Affairs’ Gift Fund and requires the Executive Director of the Department to administer the Fund.
Section 22 of this bill makes a conforming change to revise the name of the Fund.
Existing law requires the Commission to develop and implement certain policies to promote communication and collaboration between state agencies and Indian tribes. (NRS 233A.200-233A.280)
Section 20 of this bill instead requires the Department to develop and implement such policies. Existing law requires:
(1) all heads of state agencies and managers and employees of state agencies to take certain training which is provided in consultation with the Commission relating to communication and collaboration with Indian tribes; and
(2) each state agency that communicates with Indian tribes on a regular basis to submit a report to the Commission on the activities of the state agency. (NRS 233A.270)
Section 21 of this bill assigns such responsibilities to the Department.
Existing law provides for the appointment of a Museum Director of the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center and Museum. (NRS 233A.065, 233A.310)
Section 23 of this bill provides that the Museum Director is responsible to and under the direction of the Executive Director. Existing law requires a representative or the Chair of the Nevada Indian Commission to serve on the Nevada State Board on Geographic Names, the Advisory Board on Outdoor Recreation, the Interagency Council on Veterans Affairs and the Regional Transmission Coordination Task Force. (NRS 327.120, 407A.575, 417.0191, 704.79887)
Sections 24-27 and 29 of this bill instead require the Executive Director or his or her designee to serve on such boards.
The NEVADA INDIAN COMMISSION (NIC) is a State agency created by statute in 1965 to “study matters affecting the social and economic welfare and well-being of American Indians residing in Nevada, including but not limited to matters and problems relating to Indian affairs and to federal and state control, responsibility, policy, and operations affecting such Indians.”
For more information about the Nevada Indian Commission soon to be the Nevada Department of Native American Affairs, click here.