President Biden will announce new steps on Monday to improve public safety and justice for Native Americans, as well as better protect private lands, treaty rights and holy places, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday. during a briefing Friday.
why it matters: The announcements will take place during the first Tribal Nations summit since 2016, which did not take place under the previous administration. This is also the first time the summit is being hosted by the White House.
big picture: Psaki said President and First Lady Jill Biden will address tribal leaders at the summit on Monday, while Vice President Kamala Harris will speak at the summit on Tuesday.
- Leaders of over 570 tribes are expected to attend the summit, which is being held virtually due to the pandemic. More than three dozen tribal representatives will address the two-day meeting. AP informed of.
state of play: The new announcements will build on other actions by the Biden administration.
- In April, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland ordered a reversal of several Trump administration policies involving tribal lands, to allow tribes more ownership and management.
- That same month, the Interior Department also created a new unit to support the investigation into the disappearances and murders of American Indians and Alaska Natives.
- This summer, Native Americans carried a 5,000-pound totem pole to raise awareness about protecting the land they hold sacred.
- Native American groups have also urged the administration to restore and expand funding for Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument, which was slashed by about 85% under former President Trump.
of note: Some activists have been disappointed that the administration has not acted more aggressively to reverse Trump’s rollback to national monuments.