The White House is pleased to announce the launch of “Winning the Future: President Obama and the Native American Community.” This webpage is meant to serve as another tool to help Indian Country navigate the federal government and learn about how the President’s Agenda is helping to win the future for Native Americans.
Since his first day in office, President Obama has worked to strengthen the government-to-government relationship between the United States and tribal governments in order to improve the quality of life for all Native Americans. Working with tribal leaders through meaningful consultation, the Administration and Indian Country have made significant progress in several areas. We made sure the Recovery Act included many job-creating investments for Indian Country. Our health care reform permanently authorized the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, and the President signed into law the Tribal Law and Order Act, which will help fight crime in Indian Country. Furthermore, the Administration finally settled the longstanding legal claims in the Cobell litigation and the lawsuit brought by Native American Farmers against the United States Department of Agriculture. To mark the launch of this webpage, we are highlighting a guest blog post by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on the recent court approval of the historic settlement in the Cobell lawsuit, “A Historic Step Towards True Trust Reform.”
All of these accomplishments have provided more opportunity and security for Native Americans, but they are just part of our ongoing effort to create stronger tribal communities throughout Indian Country. This new webpage is designed to be a centralized forum to share information about those ongoing efforts, while continuing to improve our government-to-government relationship.
At a recent White House listening session, tribal leaders asked for a centralized list of offices within the federal government that were responsible for serving Indian Country and upholding the federal trust responsibility. Accordingly, the new White House webpage contains a Resources Tab designed to be a toolkit for tribal leaders that brings together over 25 different agencies and departments into one, navigable location.
As the issues confronting Indian Country often exist across many different agencies, this resource is intended to help tribal leaders navigate the entire federal system. Additionally, as we expand and improve the webpage, periodic e-mail updates will keep Indian Country updated and informed of the issues that affect your communities on a day-to-day basis. We encourage everyone to share this webpage and to sign up for our email updates.
Charles Galbraith is Associate Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement.