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The largest White House Tribal Nations Conference in history happened recently (Nov.5), although it received scant coverage in the mainstream media. At the conference, President Obama signed an executive order before representatives from most of the nation’s 564 federally recognized tribes, giving federal agencies 90 days to submit proposals on how they plan to have “regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration” with American Indians when making policy decisions that affect their lives.
In a speech to the conference, President Obama said:
“Today’s summit is not lip service. We’re not going to go through the motions and pay tribute to one another, and then furl up the flags and go our separate ways. Today’s sessions are part of a lasting conversation that’s crucial to our shared future.”Few have been more marginalized and ignored by Washington for as long as Native Americans, our first Americans.”
There’s a long video (45:34) available from whitehouse.gov where you can watch the speech in its entirety.