HOMELAND SECURITY FROM A TRIBAL CONTEXT
Figueroa, Lisa M.
Kiernan, Kathleen L.
Halladay, Carolyn C.
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A gap exists between the federal government and the 567 tribal nations, which hampers tribal inclusion in homeland security. American Indian and Alaskan Native lands comprise 100 million acres of land within the territory of the United States, with 250 miles of borderlands—potentially a formidable rift in the nation’s homeland security. According to its mission statement, the United States homeland security enterprise necessarily assumes tribal participation, cooperation, and communication in upholding its mission to "ensure a homeland that is safe, secure, and resilient against terrorism and other hazards." Keeping the nation safe encompasses many aspects of protection, and "hundreds of thousands of people from across the federal government, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, the private sector, and other nongovernmental organizations are responsible for executing these missions." If not well supported with staff, training, and funding, the tribal nations struggle to fulfill such federal expectations. The first step to close that gap, and build stronger, more collaborative homeland security practices, is improving tribal preparedness.
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