Government Shutdown's Hit Magnified for Tribes

Oct 2, 2013

American Indian tribes have more than access to National Parks on the line with the government shutdown, as federal funding has been cut off for crucial services including foster care payments, nutrition programs and financial assistance for the needy.

Some tribes say they'll try to fill the gap themselves, risking deficits to cushion communities with chronic high unemployment and poverty against effects of the budget battle in Washington, D.C.

But basic services heavily subsidized by federal payments are taking a direct hit. Crow Chairman Darrin Old Coyote says the southeastern Montana reservation is suspending bus service to remote communities and furloughing employees from a major irrigation project.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs says essential activities such as law enforcement, firefighting and some social services will continue.