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National Native American Heritage Month and the White House Tribal Nations Conference

Summary: 
Kimberly Teehee, White House Domestic Policy Council Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs, hosts a listening session at the National Congress of American Indians to kick off National American Heritage Month.

Today, I along with several of my colleagues in the Administration are hosting a listening session at the National Congress of American Indians convention to kick off National Native American Heritage Month and to hear directly from tribal leaders about their priorities for discussion at the 2011 White House Tribal Nations Conference.  

As you may have already heard, the President, along with members of the Cabinet, Senior Administration officials, and tribal leaders will gather at the 2011 White House Tribal Nations Conference on December 2nd. 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. Each federally recognized tribe will be invited to send one representative to the conference. 

This will be the third White House Tribal Nations Conference for the Obama Administration, and continues to build upon the President’s commitment to strengthen the government to government relationship with Indian Country.  Throughout the month of November, the Administration will be consulting with tribal leaders to plan for the 2011 Tribal Nations Conference.  In addition, many federal agencies across the Administration will be hosting their own celebration events this month. 

In addition, today President Obama issued a proclamation to honor the month of November as National Native American Heritage Month, to celebrate the rich ancestry and myriad contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives, and to rededicate ourselves to supporting tribal sovereignty, self-determination, and prosperity for all Native Americans.  Across the country, in communities large and small, Americans will come together to explore the rich history of tribal nations.  The President’s proclamation calls upon all Americans to commemorate this month and to celebrate November 25, 2011, as Native American Heritage Day.

Through a comprehensive strategy where the Federal Government and tribal nations move forward aspartners, we can bring real and lasting change to Indian Country. 

If you have questions about the Tribal Nations Conference, please email tribalnationsconference@who.eop.gov.

Kimberly Teehee is the White House Domestic Policy Council Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs.