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Creation of White House Council on Native American Affairs Will Strengthen Government-to-Government Relationship

June 26, 2013
Press Release

Washington, DC – President Barack Obama today issued an executive order creating the White House Council on Native American Affairs.  This high level interagency group will be chaired by the Secretary of the Interior with the purpose of ensuring that “the Federal Government engages in a true and lasting government-to-government relationship with federally recognized tribes in a more coordinated and effective manner, including by better carrying out its trust responsibilities.”  The Council will work across federal agencies and departments to coordinate the development of “policy recommendations to support tribal self-governance and improve the quality of life for Native Americans.”

Congresswoman McCollum, co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus, issued the following statement:

“President Obama is to be commended for recognizing the critical importance of a coordinated federal approach to engaging with tribal nations and Native Americans.  This special recognition of tribal sovereignty by the White House will give Indian issues a higher profile and will hopefully put greater focus on providing better services and getting results for Indian families. At a time when sequestration is inflicting devastating harm throughout Indian Country, this Council will be have an immediate opportunity to engage tribal leaders and stakeholders to responsibly meet federal trust obligations. 

Congresswoman Betty McCollum is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and serves as the Democratic Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus