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News Release

U.S. Department of the Interior

The Interior Department on Wednesday announced a number of steps to better engage tribal leaders through the White House Council on Native American Affairs (WHCNAA). The White House Council on Native American Affairs, co-chaired by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice, has launched a new website that will serve as a hub to highlight the Administration’s progress in supporting Indian Country.

Additionally, the Department announced that in her capacity as White House Council on Native American Affairs Co-Chair, Secretary Deb Haaland will convene her Cabinet colleagues three times a year to meet with tribal leaders to share the work of the White House Council on Native American Affairs and listen to feedback, questions, and concerns from tribal communities.

“The White House Council on Native American Affairs represents an important commitment to strengthen tribal sovereignty, uphold our commitment to tribal nations, and honor the United States’ nation-to-nation relationships. Part of that commitment includes ensuring that tribal leaders have a seat at the table and can work directly with federal leaders on issues of importance,” said Secretary Haaland. “I am so grateful to the tribal leaders who spent time with us this week to discuss issues of importance to their communities. Together, I believe we can do great things for Indigenous communities.”

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The announcement comes after the successful completion of the 2021 White House Tribal Nations Summit, which provided an opportunity for Administration and tribal leaders from the 574 federally recognized tribes to discuss ways the federal government can invest in and strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship as well as ensure that progress in Indian Country endures for years to come. The Tribal Summit will serve as an additional annual opportunity for tribal leaders to engage with Administration leaders.

Archived footage of the two-day Summit can be found on the Interior’s Department’s YouTube page. In addition, Secretary Haaland will deliver closing remarks for and Department leaders will participate in a White House Tribal Youth Forum today. The forum will be livestreamed on YouTube.

About the U.S. Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior (DOI) conserves and manages the Nation’s natural resources and cultural heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of the American people, provides scientific and other information about natural resources and natural hazards to address societal challenges and create opportunities for the American people, and honors the Nation’s trust responsibilities or special commitments to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and affiliated island communities to help them prosper.

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