Biden to sign order promoting tribal self-determination

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Biden to sign order promoting tribal self-determination

President Biden will sign an executive order Wednesday that White House officials say will demonstrate the government’s respect for tribal sovereignty and self-determination.

The order comes as the 11th White House Tribal Nations Summit begins in Washington, DC

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland told reporters that the administration is focused on the tribe’s stewardship of federal resources, and is seeking tribal input on decisions before they become policy.

“We will announce that 190 co-stewardship agreements have been signed this year by our administration,” he said. “Tribes from coast to coast are playing a greater role in managing the lands and waters they have cared for since ancient times.”

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The statement certainly ranks on Alaska’s Arctic Slope. A delegation of tribal, local government and Alaska Native corporate leaders from there complained to Congress in recent weeks that Haaland would not meet with them to hear their views, which are generally favorable to the oil development in their region.

The executive order includes provisions intended to make it easier for tribes to access federal funds while increasing flexibility and eliminating burdensome reporting requirements.

Tom Perez, senior adviser to President Biden, told reporters that the administration has made record-breaking investments of about $46 BILLION in tribal nations.

“Tribal communities know best what is in the best interest of their community,” he said. “And through that partnership, they continue to make necessary updates to tribal roads, bridges, delivery of clean water, (and) high-speed internet to indigenous communities and to alleviate the impact of climate change.”

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The tribal nations summit began in 2009 and was an annual event during the Obama administration. Donald Trump did not continue this during his years in the White House. This is President Biden’s third summit.