Statement from the National Congress of American Indians on Presidential Memorandum on Consultation with Tribal Nations

Published on Jan 26, 2021

On January 26, 2021, President Biden signed a Presidential Memorandum titled, “Memorandum on Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships,” implementing Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments.”  Today’s Memorandum reaffirms the policy announced in the Presidential Memorandum of November 5, 2009 and recognizes the federal trust and treaty obligations to tribal nations.

The Memorandum directs federal agencies to complete the following actions: (1) consult with tribal nations to develop and then submit detailed tribal consultation action plans to the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy (APDP) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) within 90 days; (2) designate an agency official to coordinate implementation of the plan and prepare progress reports; (3) submit to the Director of OMB annual progress reports on the status of each action plan; and (4) for the Director of OMB, in coordination with APDP, to submit to the President a report on the implementation of Executive Order 13175.

In response to the Presidential Memorandum, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) President Fawn Sharp released the following statement:

“In his first week in office, President Biden has demonstrated that the needs of Tribal Nations are an urgent priority for his administration. I am both excited and encouraged that the Biden Administration is taking so many meaningful and significant steps towards Tribal Nations' priority issues -- respect for sovereignty, racial equity, urgent action on climate change, protection of sacred sites and ancestral ecosystems, and the commitment to meaningful Tribal consultation. There's immense work still to be done, but we celebrate that the first steps President Biden has taken towards truth and reconciliation with Tribal Nations are so responsive to our needs and aligned with our values and principles."

Select NCAI Resolutions on Government-to-Government Tribal Consultation:

·        Resolution #SAC-12-036: Support for a Strong Nation-To-Nation Relationship and Effective, Meaningful Consultation

·        Resolution #PHX-16-071: Calling for Direct, Timely, and Effective Consultation by the United States with Tribes Regarding Any International Negotiations that May Affect Tribal Interests

On Wednesday, January 20, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden signed a series of executive orders, memoranda, and directives impacting Indian Country immediately after being sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. These actions include rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, halting funding obligations to the southern U.S. border wall, reviewing size reductions to the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, presenting a 2020 census apportionment that is fair and accurate, and directing all executive departments and agencies to review and take appropriate actions to ensure consistency with the Biden-Harris Plan for Tribal Nations

To find out more information on those day one actions, please click here.

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