Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement after passing her bipartisan, bicameral bill to make vital amendments to the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Reservation Water Rights Settlement Act through the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. Cortez Masto’s legislation would allow the Tribes to collect over $5 million in interest that they are owed from their 2009 water rights settlement.
Interest payments are commonplace in Indian water settlements but were inadvertently left out of this one. The Senator’s bill would correct this oversight and allow the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Reservation to collect the full amount they are owed from the federal government. Now that her legislation has cleared this major procedural hurdle, it will advance to the full Senate.
“The federal government currently owes the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley Indian Reservation millions of dollars due to a technical oversight, and I’m working hard to get that money into the community where it belongs,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “The U.S. government has an important trust relationship with Tribal nations, and I’m committed to ensuring that Congress does its part to get Native communities in Nevada what they’re owed.”
Senator Cortez Masto has led bipartisan efforts in the Senate to ensure that Tribes across Nevada have access to the resources and support they need. She has introduced legislation to address the shortage of healthcare providers at the Indian Health Services (IHS) and to provide Native Americans across the U.S. with behavioral health care. To strengthen Tribal infrastructure, the Senator helped secure $2.9 billion for Tribal transportation programs in addition to funding for Indian water settlements and tribal broadband through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. She made sure that the American Rescue Plan included robust funding for Tribal communities, including $1.2 billion for affordable housing programs, and an additional $1 billion to help combat the pandemic.