Lake County Leader: Tester talks tribal roads

POLSON — Tribal leaders, spokespeople and concerned members from tribes around the country converged on the KwaTaqNuk last Friday to hear testimony at a Senate Indian Affairs Committee oversight field hearing.

Chaired by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., the hearing featured two panels and a public question and comment session after the panel testimony on tribal transportation in Indian Country.

The unanimous assessment made by panelists of the road system in Indian Country seemed to be that more oversight and funding was necessary to improve deteriorating conditions.

The two panels featured big names in national Indian affairs issues, beginning with Larry Echo Hawk, the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the Department of Interior. Echo Hawk said roads remain extremely important in Indian County and that subpar conditions have created major issues on reservations nationwide.

“Roads are vital in Indian country for education, safety and economic development,” he said. “They must be adequate and they must be safe.”

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