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WASHINGTON — The White House Tribal Nations Summit began last Wednesday morning. During the afternoon the attendees heard from President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in separate appearances. 

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland addresses the audience. 

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo) was diagnosed with Covid-19 on Monday was not able to attend in-person. In a press release on Monday, the Interior Department said Secretary Haaland would abide by CDC guidelines to isolate. However, she participated at the summit virtually. President Biden was introduced by Assistant Secretary Bryan Newland (Bay Mills Indian Community) due to Secretary Haaland's in-person absence. 

Some 400 tribal leaders and leaders of national Native American organizations were in attendance. 

Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren, who was inaugurated on January 10, 2023, attended his first White House tribal summit. On Thursday, the Department of Energy announced two new MOUs signed by several federal deapartments and agenices to create structured support for the Hopi Tribe and amends the existing Navajo Nation MOU with federal agencies to help both tribes and their communities transition to clean energy.

Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren

Photos by Levi Rickert for Native News Online 

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About The Author
Levi Rickert
Author: Levi RickertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Levi "Calm Before the Storm" Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected].