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Councilman Frost lobbies for Tribe in D.C.

Southern Ute Tribal Councilman, Kevin Frost
Photo Credit: Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum

Southern Ute Councilman Kevin R. Frost and Southern Ute Tribal attorney, Paul Moorehead, attended a meeting at the White House that focused primarily on energy exploration and infrastructure on tribal lands. The Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA) had invited Councilman Frost to attend the meeting.

President Trump’s Administration requested the meeting to foster productive, government-to-government working relationships with tribal organizations and to identify ways the Administration could be more helpful. The Administration also wanted clarity on when it is best for tribes to be given authority to make decisions in their own best interests. IGA acknowledged that for years, tribes have been working to improve energy related processes and lobbying for the ability to make energy decisions affecting their communities, resources, and people. “Providing tribes a seat at the table, allows us to exercise some measure of sovereignty,” Councilman Frost said. All in attendance agreed that the regulatory burdens placed on tribes needs to be changed.

Councilman Frost also presented the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s energy policy, and an overview of the SUIT’s recent issues with The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) standards and guidelines to reporting and financial accounting. Both the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) have influence on the way the Tribe reports its financial results. Each has differing opinions on the proper reporting standards for the Tribe to use for its commercial enterprises. These standards impact tribes differently than other forms of government and could affect credit ratings and financial costs. The IGA expressed interest in how these standards not only impact the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, but also the rest of Indian Country.

Councilman Frost’s influential contributions were acknowledged by an invite to attend a second meeting with top officials related to infrastructure development. Additionally Frost will be attending a third meeting related to infrastructure development with the Trump Administration in the coming weeks. “Being invited to partake in the beginning stages of planning for the new Trump Administration will greatly impact the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and potentially all of Indian Country,” Councilman Frost said.

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