On April 23, 2021, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland will convene the Biden Administration’s first White House Council on Native American Affairs meeting. Secretary Haaland will serve as the council’s chair, and she will be joined by Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice as well as the principal leaders of each federal agency.
In response to requests from leaders across Indian Country, President Obama originally established the council by executive order in June 2013. Council meetings were discontinued under President Trump.
The White House Council on Native American Affairs provides an interagency opportunity for the leaders of each federal agency to meet and coordinate the delivery of programs and services to Indian tribes. Most or all of these programs and services fulfill important federal treaty and trust responsibilities. The council was first established to improve coordination between the various federal agencies involved in tribal programs and service.
The council is convening during a time in which the Biden Administration is working to get Covid-19 relief to Indian Country, and is engaging in a government-wide effort to improve the tribal consultation policies of each federal agency. The council also will be considering plans to address the four crises President Biden identified as facing the nation: the Covid-19 pandemic, economic recovery, racial equity, and climate change.