- By Native News Online Staff
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo) made a historic visit this week to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, discussing how President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda is helping fund the Tribe’s infrastructure projects to provide better services for its members and surrounding community.
Haaland met with Tribal Council to hear first-hand about the only federally recognized tribe in Alabama’s journey and was briefed on the Tribe’s recent multi-million dollar investment into reliable, high-speed internet service for the reservation and surrounding communities.
“Secretary Haaland has been a tireless advocate for Tribes throughout her years of service to our country, both as the Secretary of the Interior and as a Member of Congress”, noted Stephanie A. Bryan, Poarch Band of Creek Indians Chair and CEO. “She truly understands how critically important it is for us, as an independent, sovereign Indian nation, to maintain a strong government-to-government relationship with the United States.”
This marks the first time that any member of the Department of Interior has been to the Tribe’s lands located in Atmore, Alabama. Haaland toured several locations on the reservation, including the Tribe’s Assisted Living Facility, Senior Activities Center, and the Poarch Creek Community Center, where preschool children shared a Mvskoke language presentation.
She continued on with her visit to the Poarch Creek Museum, where she received an in-depth guided tour of the Tribe's history, followed by a visit with Poarch Creek Tribal Leaders and several Tribal Princesses, where she was presented with the Tribe’s book, Woven Together.
Haaland created the Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee (STAC) in 2021. Its goal is to further strengthen the relations between the Department of Interior and Indian Country and ensure that Tribal Leadership Members have consistent communication with the Department’s leadership and staff.
“Personally, it has been both an honor and a privilege for me to have the opportunity to work with her and to see her commitment to finding solutions to some of the toughest problems facing Indian Country. She is a true public servant and our country is blessed to have her in this important role,” Bryan said in a statement,
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