On November 5th, the 7th Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference took place in Washington, D.C. The conference was created by the Obama Administration to allow tribal leaders the opportunity to meet with top government political and agency leaders to strengthen the government-to-government relationships with Indian Country and to improve the lives of American Indians and Alaska Natives, especially Native youth.
In light of the White House bringing together 566 federally recognized tribal leaders in Washington, D.C., ICTMN interviewed top administrative officials from a plethora of agencies covering such issues as tribal sovereignty, education, justice and more.
In this video series, viewers will hear from these officials about the bad news in Indian Country (what they see in need of improvement) and the good news (what their agencies are doing about it.)
This video segment is an interview with the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Interior, Mike Connor.
According to Connor, the bad news in Indian Country is the millions of acres of fractionated lands in Indian country associated with the history of mismanagement of historical record-keeping and the failure over time to account for mineral resources and other associated benefits to tribal landowners.
“The allotment policies were a disaster for Indian Country in terms of the loss of land” he said.
“The good news,” says Connor, “is the land buy-back program which is addressing the issue to landowners to restore this “checkerboard...and the 1.9 billion dollars allotted by the U.S. government to restore the lands.”
Watch the entire brief interview here:
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