November 04, 2009

The previous tribal summit

Tribes look back to move forward:  Obama's monumental challenge in Indian Country

By Lise Balk King
The Native Voice
Special to
President Bill Clinton issued his executive Memorandum on Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Government (April 29, 1994), which set guidelines for consultation and a system for government-wide implementation, throughout all agencies.

Loretta Avent, Deputy Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and the first-ever official tribal liaison to the White House, organized the Clinton tribal meeting at the White House in 1994. All federally recognized tribes were invited, and over 200 leaders attended. It was the first such meeting, and the last, until Obama's Tribal Nations Conference.
And:Lynn Cutler, who served as the first-ever tribal liaison in the White House as Deputy Assistant to President Clinton for Intergovernmental Affairs, explained what it took to implement the mandates of Clinton's 1994 executive order. She said, "This was the period that tribes started to get politically active…I began to really push it with my colleagues, and develop relationships with (Departments of) Interior and Justice. We formed a working group and there were quarterly meetings. Gradually, by being a terrible nag, I was able to help the senior staff understand why we needed to be involved in Indian Country."Comment:  For more on the subject, see Intro to Tribal Summits and Obama to Hold Tribal Summit.

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