Continuing the Progress in Tribal Communities
Over the past four years, through tribal consultation and the White House Tribal Nations Conferences, President Obama and his Administration have worked to ensure that tribal leaders are directly involved in setting policy priorities. Today, President Obama is hosting the 2012 White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of Interior.
This conference continues to build upon the President’s commitment to strengthen the government to government relationship with Indian Country, by providing invited leaders from the 566 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and representatives from the highest levels of his Administration. In conjunction with today’s event, the White House released a report, “Continuing the Progress in Tribal Communities,” that examines the President’s agenda and how this Administration, by working together with tribes, has made a difference for American Indians and Alaska Natives.
The report highlights:
- How the Administration has partnered with tribal leaders and taken action to support infrastructure and workforce development to drive economic growth. These actions include expanding access to broadband under the Recovery Act; providing Federal loan guarantees; investing millions of dollars in businesses in Indian Country; building the capacity of Native Community Development Financial Institutions; and supporting the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) Business Development Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives.
- How the Affordable Care Act, which permanently authorized the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, is working to improve the quality of health care and making it more accessible and affordable for all Americans, including Native Americans.
- How the Administration is working to improve education from cradle to career in tribal communities, including implementation of an Executive Order President Obama signed in December 2011 establishing the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education to help expand educational opportunities and improve outcomes for these communities.
- How the Administration has worked to make tribal communities safer, through implementation of the Tribal Law and Order Act, which President Obama signed into law in 2010.
- How the Administration has taken steps in support of tribal self-determination, including President Obama signing into law the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act in July of this year.
The Administration’s commitment to tribal consultation and collaboration is reflected in each of the above areas of progress. But we know there is still much more work to do, and we look forward to the continued partnership with tribal governments in the months and years ahead.
Download the report here: Continuing the Progress in Tribal Communities
Jodi Gillette is Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs, White House Domestic Policy Council.