November 16, 2010

Obama plans 2nd tribal summit

Obama plans second American Indian conference

By Gerald HelgueroThe Obama administration is pushing for closer ties with America Indian tribes, announcing a second presidential conference with the tribes in December.

Each of the 565 federally recognized tribes--that function legally as "domestic dependent nations" within the United States--is being invited to send one representative to a December 16 conference where participants will have the "opportunity to interact directly with the President and representatives from the highest levels of his Administration," the White House said Monday.

The December 16 event will be the second White House Tribal Nations Conference for the Obama administration. The President had made a commitment to reach out to tribes when he was campaigning for election in 2008.

At a conference with tribal leaders last November, Obama vowed to more closely engage tribes through federal agencies.

Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar--who spoke at the annual convention of the National Congress of American Indians on Monday--said that over the past year, his department had held meetings in seven cities with 300 tribal representatives and more than 250 federal officials to draft a "consultation policy" that will "soon" be submitted for review and comment to tribes.

"I expect to put our new policy in place this spring," he said. "The new policy will help tribal leaders be more engaged in policy development and will result in a process that is more transparent, comprehensive and effective."
Comment:  So far this summit isn't getting the same kind of publicity as the previous summit. And maybe that's good. A summit should be less about heartfelt speeches and photo opportunities and more about the nitty-gritty of government-to-government relations.

For more on tribal summits, see Obama Breaks Promise to Indians and How to Consult with 564 Tribes.


Rob said...

Second tribal meeting announced at NCAI

On the opening day of the National Congress of American Indians convention, the White House announced it will convene the second Tribal Leaders Summit Dec. 16 to help frame priorities that can be accomplished before President Barack Obama’s term ends in 2012.

Speaking to a packed house, Kimberly Teehee, White House senior policy advisor for Native American Affairs, told an estimated 2,000 participants that the president is committed to keeping his promises to Indian country.

“You are not the forgotten community,” she said. “President Obama honors the nation-to-nation relationship, and is committed to bringing hope and a new era of prosperity. We all know the need exceeds our resources, and we will continue to look to your wisdom and experience to set a policy agenda.”

Rob said...

For more on subject, see:

Obama prepares for second tribal summit

Before 2010 comes to a close, President Barack Obama will again meet face-to-face with Indian nation leaders in the nation’s capital.

The White House announced Nov. 15 that Obama plans to hold a second White House Tribal Nations Conference on Thursday, Dec. 16.

“As part of President Obama’s ongoing outreach to the American people, this conference will provide leaders from the 565 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the president and representatives from the highest levels of his administration,” according to a release from the White House. “Each federally recognized tribe will be invited to send one representative to the conference.”

Shin Inouye, a spokesman for the White House, added that the event had been being planned “for some time” and will be held at the Department of the Interior.