News Releases

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs – today released the following statement after the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs marked up his bill, S.2154, the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas Water Rights Settlement Agreement Act in a Committee business meeting:

“I recognize and appreciate the extensive time and effort the tribe and the state of Kansas have committed over the past decade to reaching this agreement. This is a classic local solution to a local natural resource matter that Congress ought to approve. Today’s Committee action represents a significant step forward in finally providing the Kickapoo vital water security for its reservation and residents.”

Dating back to the 1970s, the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas has worked to achieve water security for its livelihood and that of its members. After a decade of negotiations between the tribe, state and federal entities, the state and tribe reached a settlement in September 2016, determining the various elements of the Tribal Water Right. The Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas Water Rights Settlement Agreement Act approves the tribe’s water right, establishes the administration of the right by the State as the senior water right in the Delaware River basin, and provides no funding for future water storage projects. Federal law requires such settlements involving tribes to be affirmed by Congress.

The Kickapoo reservation encompasses 30 square miles in Brown County and is comprised of 1,600 members, 400 of whom live on or near the reservation.

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