fbpx
facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1
 

On Monday, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland led the White House Council on Native American Affairs’ engagement session with tribal leaders on how they want to use the $13 billion tribal set-aside in President Biden’s Infrastructure Bill.

Also in attendance at Monday's remote conference were various government officials representing the different sectors impacted by the infrastructure bill, including the Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez on Monday stressed the need to streamline—and thus speed up—the approval process for environmental assessments and securing rights of ways for infrastructure development. 

Want more Native News? Get the free daily newsletter today.

“Many of the projects funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will take years to come to fruition because of the various layers of approval required to build any kind of infrastructure,” Nez said in written remarks from the listening session released by the Navajo Nation. “We need to be able to streamline the approval process. We circulated a white paper detailing these issues and we can work to overcome this. Once again, we urge this Administration to improve these administrative processes. Without doing so, it will take years for tribal communities to reap the benefits promised to them in the Infrastructure Law.”

The session also focused on implementation of President Biden’s executive order on Improving Public Safety and Criminal Justice for Native Americans and Addressing the Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People, which includes tribal consultation once agian.

In November, Haaland committed to convening WHCNAA three times a year to listen to feedback, questions, and concerns from tribal communities. Monday marked the first of three meetings.

The White House Council on Native American Affairs was established by former President Barack Obama in 2013, to improve the use of available federal resources for the benefit of tribal communities. The Biden-Harris Administration brought back the council, co-chaired by Secretary Haaland and White House Domestic Policy Advisor Ambassador Susan Rice.

More Stories Like This

Read Former President Trump's Acceptance Speech
Chief Standing Bear Courage Prize Committee Announces U.S. District Court Judge Diane Humetewa as 2024 Prize Recipient
Vice President Kamala Harris Speaks in Michigan about Women's Rights
Trump’s New Running Mate, J.D. Vance, Has History of Anti-Indigenous Beliefs
Rep. Lauren Boebert Thinks She Should be the Next Interior Secretary If Trump is Elected

Join us in observing 100 years of Native American citizenship. On June 2, 1924, President Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act, granting Native Americans US citizenship, a pivotal moment in their quest for equality. This year marks its centennial, inspiring our special project, "Heritage Unbound: Native American Citizenship at 100," observing their journey with stories of resilience, struggle, and triumph. Your donations fuel initiatives like these, ensuring our coverage and projects honoring Native American heritage thrive. Your donations fuel initiatives like these, ensuring our coverage and projects honoring Native American heritage thrive.

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online StaffEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Native News Online is one of the most-read publications covering Indian Country and the news that matters to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other Indigenous people. Reach out to us at [email protected].