February 11, 2010

Obama breaks promise to Indians

Agencies miss 90-day tribal consultation deadline

By Rob CapricciosoShin Inouye, a spokesman for the White House, confirmed Feb. 9 that some agencies were still working on it. White House officials didn’t say which agencies those were.

“Agencies are completing their plans of action to implement the policies and directives of Executive Order 13175, as required by President Obama’s November 5, 2009 memorandum to agencies,” Inouye said.

“As you remember, this presidential memorandum emphasized the importance of tribal consultation to a sound and productive nation-to-nation relationship.”

To date, officials with the Departments of the Interior, Justice, Treasury and Transportation confirmed they met the 90-day deadline.
A typical response from an Indian:Jonathan Windy Boy, a Montana state legislator and a citizen of the Chippewa Cree Tribe, said it’s time for Obama to take the failing agency heads to task.

“The president should hold their feet to the fire,” he said.

“It’s unfortunate that these department heads are not taking their jobs seriously. Until there are penalties and repercussions, I fear this is going to keep happening. The president should revisit the issue and take action.”
Comment:  So we have another broken promise to Indians. Another example of Obama's so-called commitment to them. When will he stop talking the talk and start walking the walk?

I'm pretty sure Capriccioso wrote this article after I suggested the topic. That's my small contribution to Indian country.

After he published the article, we had the following chat on Facebook:

Excellent idea for an article. <g>

So only four agencies have met the deadline? Where are their reports? Don't we get to read them? I thought they were going to be public documents.

This is akin to the sound of a tree falling in a forest. If an agency claims a document is done but we don't get to read it, it might as well not exist. Seeing is believing.

P.S. Good idea for a follow-up story.We are following up with the agencies and plan to report further on their plans as they are available. OMB is currently reviewing the ones that have been turned in. More than four may have met the deadline, but only four have confirmed so far, and White House hasn't confirmed the exact number.Okay. As long as they get done and become available to the public ASAP.

But why no announcement about the completed reports? It's like the apology in the defense bill: buried.

For more on the subject, see Where Are Obama's Cabinet Reports? and Obama's Memo to His Cabinet.

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