Char-Koosta News

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Vice-Chair Carole Lankford, tribal leaders meets with President Obama

Tribal Council Vice-Chair Carole Lankford shakes has with President Obama last November in Washington, D.C. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)Tribal Council Vice-Chair Carole Lankford shakes has with President Obama last November in Washington, D.C. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On November 12, representatives from twelve tribes, including Tribal Council vice-chair Carole Lankford of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, met with President Obama to discuss relationships between tribal and federal government. Participating in the meeting were Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, White House Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling and Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs David Agnew. The meeting provided tribal leaders an opportunity to directly engage with the President on a leader-to-leader, government-to-government basis and to discuss key issues facing Indian Country at the highest level of Government. The meeting coincided with the fifth White House Tribal Nations Conference.

According to the Whitehouse.gov website, the White House Tribal Nations Conference invites 566 federally recognized tribes to gather and discuss the future of tribal nations and its relationship with the federal government.

President Obama listens to tribal leaders before the White House Tribal Nations Conference. CSKT council Vice-Chair Carole Lankford listens in. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)President Obama listens to tribal leaders before the White House Tribal Nations Conference. CSKT council Vice-Chair Carole Lankford listens in. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

On June 26, President Obama established the White House Council on Native American Affairs. According to the executive order, the council was formed to "promote and sustain prosperous and resilient Native American tribal governments."

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell stated that a top priority has been restoring tribal land. The administration's goal is to place more than 500,000 acres of land into trust by the end of President Obama's term. Since 2009, nearly 230,000 acres have been accepted into trust, and 1400 individual land to trust applications have been processed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/NativeAmericans to learn more.

Official White House photo by Pete Souza.

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