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Last Updated: 11/16/2009Obama's Efforts for Indigenous Cooperation
Nicole Loschke and Ken Thomas
November 5th, 2009 marked the first White House Tribal Nations Conference. This conference brought together 564 delegates from each federally recognized American Indian tribe. The first meeting of its kind in US history is a significant effort from the Obama administration to recognize Indigenous groups inside the US. Obama outlined his willingness to work together with the Native Nations to better affectively meet the needs of all US Americans, stating that the conference was “…part of a lasting conversation that’s crucial to our shared future.”
Obama’s message for the “First Americans” included mentions of past wrong-doings and a commitment to a cooperative future, “I believe Washington can’t and shouldn’t dictate a policy for agenda for Indian Country. Tribal Nations do better when they make their own decisions.” Obama has set a 90 day time period for suggestions on how to better incorporate Native leaders in Washington’s policy-making.
The president also addressed several issues that Native Americans have been pushing for years, including education, health care, Indian sovereignty, economic development, suicide rates in reserves, access to safe drinking water and of course land rights. The Obama administration has granted $3 billion (USD) to tribal communities to address these issues, specifically education, “I am absolutely committed to moving forward with you and forging a new and better future together. It’s a commitment that’s deeper than our unique nation to nation relationship, it’s a commitment to getting this relationship right so you can be full partners in the American economy and so your children and grandchildren can have an equal shot at pursuing the American dream.”
This article, published in "Indian Country News" expands on Obama's conversation with the Native American leaders about land rights and reform, as well as development and sustainability issues.
News From Indian Country--
Ken Thomas- Washington, D.C. (AP) 11/09
USDA Says it Wants to Resolve Farmers' Lawsuit
The Obama administration intends to seek resolution to a lawsuit filed by American Indian farmers who alleged discrimination in the granting of federal agricultural loans over three decades.
Nicole Loschke is the Assitant Editor of the Peace and Conflict Monitor. She recieved her MA in Media, Peace and Conflict Studies from the University for Peace. Your comments or questions are welcome, firstname.lastname@example.org
“News from Indian Country” an online publication and part of Indian Country Communications, Inc. The organization is an independent media source operated and owned by American Indian Natives. The publication is based on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Reservation in Wisconsin, USA. According to it's website, while the publication does have ties to the reservation, it is “not owned, or politically controlled by a tribal government.” The content of the publication is developed through reader contributions.