WASHINGTON, DC—This week, the Department of the Interior hosted the White House Tribal Nations Summit, the first in-person convening since 2016. Over two days, the Summit provided an opportunity for Biden-Harris administration and Tribal leaders from federally recognized Tribes to meaningfully engage about ways the federal government can invest in and strengthen Native communities, as well as ensure that progress in Indian Country endures for years to come.
Since taking office, the Interior Department has prioritized strengthening nation-to-nation relationships, honoring trust and treaty obligations with federally recognized Tribes, and advancing Tribal sovereignty and self-determination. Through the American Rescue Plan, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the Inflation Reduction Act, the Biden-Harris administration is making historic investments in Tribal communities to ensure they have the support and resources they need to thrive.
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The Biden-Harris administration announced the launch of a new Voluntary Community-Driven Relocation program, led by the Department of the Interior, to assist Tribal communities severely impacted by climate-related environmental threats. Through investments from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, the Department is committing $115 million for 11 severely impacted Tribes to advance relocation efforts and adaptation planning. Additional support for relocation will be provided by the Federal Emergency Management Administration and the Denali Commission.
The New York Times: U. S. to Pay Millions to Move Tribes Threatened by Climate Change
The Biden administration will give three Native tribes $75 million to move away from coastal areas or rivers, one of the nation’s largest efforts to date to relocate communities that are facing an urgent threat from climate change. The three communities — two in Alaska, and one in Washington State — will each get $25 million to move their key buildings onto higher ground and away from rising waters, with the expectation that homes will follow. The federal government will give eight more tribes $5 million each to plan for relocation.
Two Native villages in Alaska and a native village in Washington state will receive $25 million each in federal assistance to help relocate to higher ground in the face of climate change-driven erosion and flooding concerns. President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced the funding for Newtok and Napakiak, both on the Bering Sea coast in Alaska, and the Quinault Indian Nation on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Biden spoke at the start of a two-day tribal summit in Washington, D.C.
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced a series of actions to support tribally led conservation, education and economic development through a new Office of Strategic Partnerships. The Department also announced a new joint project between the Bureau of Indian Education and Trust for Public Land to create culturally informed outdoor educational spaces, the renewal of “The National Fund for Excellence in American Indian Education,” and new partnerships with community organizations to catalyze economic opportunities across Indian Country.
Native News Online: Interior Department Announces New Support for Tribal Sovereignty
Today, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced new actions to support tribal sovereignty owed to education and economic development work between the Office of Strategic Partnerships and Indian Country. The Office of Strategic Partnerships will assist with building partnerships, leveraging resources, and promoting innovative solutions for Indian Country, according to a press release from the Department of the Interior. Through the office, the Department will help manage a diverse set of collaborative efforts with philanthropic and non-profit organizations, including a new partnership between the Bureau of Indian Education and the Trust for Public Land’s Community Schoolyards Project to create culturally informed outdoor educational spaces.
U.S. Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland on Wednesday announced the creation of a new Office of Strategic Partnerships that will team up to launch new outdoor education centers in Tribal communities, including the Coeur d’Alene Reservation. According to a press release issued by the department, the new Office of Strategic Partnerships will work with the Bureau of Indian Education and the Trust for Public Lands to create nine community school yards in 2023. The schools will be outdoor multipurpose centers where physical activity, education, Native languages and cultural heritage can be combined. One of the nine community schools will be the new Coeur d’Alene Tribal School in De Smet, Idaho, Department of Interior officials said.
The Departments of the Interior and Commerce and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to advance electromagnetic spectrum access opportunities and the deployment of broadband and other wireless services on Tribal lands. Additionally, Interior is establishing a new Office of Indigenous Communications and Technology (OICT) to assist Tribal Nations and Tribal entities in managing and developing new technological and wireless services on Tribal lands to advance true self-determination over digital resources.
President Joe Biden announced plans Wednesday to create an Office of Indigenous Communications and Technology in the Department of the Interior. The new office will provide technical support and assist Native American tribes in managing, developing and maintaining their broadband and communications infrastructure, according to a White House briefing. The office also aims to facilitate partnerships between tribes and the tech industry and provide support for technology initiatives on tribal lands. The new office was announced during the 2022 White House Tribal Nations Summit, which introduced several actions to increase tribal input and consultation in policymaking.
U.S. President Joe Biden drew enthusiastic applause from tribal leaders attending day one of a two-day White House Tribal Nations Summit in Washington, where Biden announced new policies for improving tribal consultation across federal agencies. “Consultation has to be a two-way, nation-to-nation exchange,” he said. “Federal agencies should strive to reach consensus among the tribes, and there should be adequate time for ample communication.”