Administration

Biden to announce agency partnerships with Native American leaders at tribal summit

The Biden administration on Monday will announce a series of actions to strengthen public safety for Native American tribes and protect tribal lands and traditions as part of the first Tribal Nations summit at the White House in five years.

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden will welcome tribal leaders on Monday to highlight the work the administration has done to elevate Native American voices and to outline steps being taken to ensure Native tribes have a voice in government agencies moving forward.

“This Summit demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to listening to Tribal priorities and being a good partner in supporting Tribal Nations and serves as an important opportunity to celebrate the progress we have made, and work together on a plan of action to move forward,” the White House said in a fact sheet describing the new measures being put in place.

Biden on Monday will sign an executive order ordering the Department of Justice, Department of Interior, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services to create specific strategies for improving safety and justice for Native Americans, who face higher rates of violence than other races.

The order directs the agencies to address specific law enforcement issues and provide support for “tribally-centered responses.”

The administration on Monday will also establish a series of advisory panels focused on getting tribal input in different agencies.

One will be a Tribal Advisory Committee for the secretary of the Interior. That post is currently held by Deb Haaland, the nation’s first Native American Cabinet secretary. The committee will facilitate intergovernmental discussions and provide a forum for dialogue between department leaders and tribal representatives.

The administration will also announce the creation of a Department of Homeland Security Tribal Homeland Security Advisory Council, which will consist of tribal leaders to inform the agency on interests of tribal nations.

Additional committees being established Monday will focus on housing issues for tribal nations and veterans’ issues among Native Americans.

The summit will be the first at the White House since September 2016, with the Trump administration opting not to host one. It marks the latest instance of the Biden administration putting an emphasis on outreach to Native communities.

The American Rescue Plan, passed in March, set aside $31 billion for tribal communities, and officials have engaged with Native leaders to encourage tribe members to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Biden last month became the first president to designate Oct. 11 as Indigenous Peoples’ Day after years of activism pushing for recognition of Native Americans instead of celebrating Christopher Columbus.

Tags Deb Haaland Jill Biden Joe Biden Native American tribes

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