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WASHINGTON — In addition to articles already covered by Native News Online, here is a roundup of other news released from Washington, D.C. that impacts Indian Country recently.

HHS to Host "Food is Medicine" Summit; Souix Chef Sean Sherman Among Speakers

 On January 31, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) will host an all-day summit on the Food is Medicine initiative, which HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra champions. The effort focuses on increasing access to healthy foods to promote health as a preventative and healing practice. Policymakers, advocates, researchers are encouraged to join this summit. Indian Health Service (IHS) Director Roselyn Tso will participate in a panel discussion, and award-winning chef Sean Sherman will provide remarks on Indigenous foodways. 

The public is invited to listen in to the event from 9:00am – 4:30pm EST at https://www.hhs.gov/live/live-1/index.html.

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White House Requests Recommendations for the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Ares Development Board of Trustees (IAIA)

The White House Office of Presidential Personnel is soliciting recommendations for members of the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development Board of Trustees. The Institute aims to empower creativity and leadership in Native Arts and cultures through higher education, life-long learning, and outreach. T

The Board is authorized to formulate the policy of the Institute; to direct the management of the Institute; and to make such bylaws and rules as it deems necessary for the administration of its functions under this title, including the organization and procedures of the Board. Read the Dear Tribal Leader Letter here.

Members of Congress Seek Answers on DAPL Impact

House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) on Jan. 18, 2024 led more than 30 House and Senate colleagues in a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE or Corps) expressing their concerns with the agency’s climate analysis in the court-ordered Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The lawmakers’ letter calls to light problems with insufficient climate analysis and lack of transparency regarding the environmental impacts of the DAPL, specifically spotlighting how the Corps’ policies limit the ability of the environmental justice community of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to protect itself in the event of an oil spill.

“The Corps' climate analysis in the DEIS systematically underestimates the climate impacts of DAPL,” the lawmakers write. “It is especially troubling that the Corps ignores the pipeline's climate impacts, including downstream emissions, because the Corps claims the oil would be transported through other means or extracted from a different region if the pipeline were shut down. Simply assuming away the no-action alternative by saying limiting fossil fuel supply would not affect emissions ignores a robust and growing body of literature, and it is not acceptable.”

“As federal agencies, you have a trust responsibility to not only consult with Tribes but to protect and support Tribal lands, assets, and resources – a responsibility enshrined in countless treaties. Tribal consultation is paramount in recognizing Tribal sovereignty and self-determination,” the letter continues.

Read the full letter HERE 

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