Department of Interior to consult with tribal leaders next month after Biden executive order

The Department of Interior issues the payments to help offset the losses of property taxes for...
The Department of Interior issues the payments to help offset the losses of property taxes for counties with federal land.(Department of Interior)
Published: Feb. 11, 2021 at 4:28 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - In response to President Joe Biden’s executive order on strengthening relations with tribal nations, the U.S. Department of Interior will host initial consultations with tribal leaders in March to address four ‘converging’ crisis of our time, including COVID-19, economic security, racial injustice and climate change among tribal nations.

Today, the department is said to have notified all federally recognized tribes in the U.S.

In total, four consultations will be held in March to hear suggestions from tribal leaders on federal policy and departmental actions, including identifying the best practices to improving consultation and fortifying the department’s relationship with tribal governments.

“Honoring our nation-to-nation relationship with Tribes and upholding the trust and treaty responsibilities to them are paramount to fulfilling Interior’s mission,” said Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes, Interior’s designated Tribal Governance Officer and Deputy Solicitor for Indian Affairs. “Meaningful consultations ensure we center Tribal voices as we address the health, economic, racial justice and climate crises — all of which disproportionately impact American Indian and Alaska Natives,”

Below is a schedule of those sessions, which will be conducted bt the Indian Affair’s Office of Regulatory Affairs and Collaborative Action via teleconference with tribes in each of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ 12 regions.

  • Monday, March 8 (2-5 p.m. ET): Great Plains, Midwest and Rocky Mountain Regions
  • Wednesday, March 10 (10 a.m.-1 p.m. ET): Eastern, Eastern Oklahoma and Southern Plains Regions
  • Wednesday, March 10 (2-5 p.m. ET): Navajo, Southwest and Western Regions
  • Friday, March 12 (2-5 p.m. ET): Alaska, Northwest and Pacific Regions

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