Interior Department Announces Steps To Increase Transparency, Engagement With White House Council on Native American Affairs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Interior Department announced a number of steps to better engage tribal leaders through the White House Council on Native American Affairs (WHCNAA). The WHCNAA, co-chaired by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice, has launched a new website that will serve as a hub to highlight the Administration’s progress in supporting Indian Country.

Additionally, the Department announced that, in her capacity as WHCNAA Co-Chair, Secretary Deb Haaland will convene her Cabinet colleagues three times a year to meet with tribal leaders to share the work of the WHCNAA and listen to feedback, questions, and concerns from tribal communities.

“The White House Council on Native American Affairs represents an important commitment to strengthen tribal sovereignty, uphold our commitment to tribal nations, and honor the United States’ nation-to-nation relationships,” said Secretary Haaland. “Part of that commitment includes ensuring that tribal leaders have a seat at the table and can work directly with federal leaders on issues of importance. I am so grateful to the tribal leaders who spent time with us this week to discuss issues of importance to their communities. Together, I believe we can do great things for Indigenous communities.”

The announcement comes after the successful completion of the 2021 White House Tribal Nations Summit, which provided an opportunity for Administration and tribal leaders from the 574 federally recognized tribes to discuss ways the federal government can invest in and strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship as well as ensure that progress in Indian Country endures for years to come.  The Tribal Summit will serve as an additional annual opportunity for tribal leaders to engage with Administration leaders.