By Ms. Moira L Kelley (ASA (CW))September 30, 2016
This week, the White House hosted the 8th Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference, bringing together leaders from federally recognized tribes to Washington, DC. The President and members of his Cabinet will discuss a range of issues important to tribal leaders, with an emphasis on ways the federal government can continue to strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship and ensure that progress in Indian Country endures for years to come.
The Environment, Climate Change, and Natural Resources Subgroup held a panel and Secretary Darcy participated to share with the group the Army Corps' commitment to righting the wrongs that have been going on for too long between the federal government and this country's tribal nations.
There is a Tribal Liaison in Secretary Darcy's office, at the Corps HQ, and in the Corps' 38 districts, all of whom are focused on continuing to make progress in Indian Country. Together, they are engaged in a learning process. Mutual unfamiliarity required a lot of learning on both sides, and the effort has been worth it as projects and other cooperative efforts have materialized.
The Corps is committed to helping tribal nations battle the effects of climate change, and are studying the large variety of approaches that can be used to reduce the risks of climate change, including natural or nature-based features, nonstructural interventions, and structural interventions.
Secretary Darcy took this opportunity to talk about other work the Corps is doing with our Tribal nations, such as land transfers that exceed the Administration's goal; protecting the Lummi tribe's fishing rights from a proposed coal terminal; and helping our tribal veterans returning home get trained and employed in the field of archaeology.