On December 6th and 7th, 2023, President Joe Biden held his administration’s third annual White House Tribal Nations Summit in Washington, D.C. The Summit was attended by hundreds of Tribal leaders from across the United States. President Biden addressed Tribal leaders and signed an Executive Order during the Summit. The Summit was also attended by Vice President Kamala Harris, eleven Cabinet Members, and a number of senior Administration officials working on issues facing Indian Country.
Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, who had to attend virtually after being diagnosed with COVID-19, remarked: “If there’s one thing you feel hopeful about today, let it be this: the progress we’ve made together is substantial, it is history making, and it’s thanks to the folks in this room and in our communities that we are building a future our people deserve.” The two-day Summit included discussions and presentations on: Health Care, Law and Order, Indigenous Foods, Tribal Consultation Policies, Economic Development, the Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People, Labor, and more. The White House Domestic Policy Council released its 2023 Progress Report for Tribal Nations which can be found here.
The White House is also promoting a number of actions taken in the past year to strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship with tribes and promote tribal sovereignty and self-determination. A White House Fact Sheet describing all these actions can be found here.
During the Summit President Biden signed Executive Order No. 14112 to reform how the federal government funds and supports Tribal Nations. The Executive Order is available here. The Executive Order:
- Requires federal agencies to take action to ensure federal funding for Tribes is accessible, flexible, and equitable.
- Creates a one-stop-shop for federal funding available to Tribes. That can be viewed here.
- Embraces trust responsibilities by assessing unmet federal obligations to support Tribal Nations.
Patterson Earnhart Real Bird & Wilson LLP is dedicated to the representation of American Indian tribes, tribal entities, and individual Indians across the United States. Our mission is to support and advance the sovereignty, self-sufficiency, and self-governance of our tribal clients.
To learn more about how we can assist your tribe, contact our DC office at 202-434-8903.