Opinion | Politics

Barack Obama: Creating a future worthy for the seven generations






President Barack Obama at the White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, D.C, on September 26, 2016. Photo by Pete Souza / White House

After hosting his eighth and final White House Tribal Nations Conference, President Barack Obama reflects on the progress Indian Country has made during his administration and looks toward the future:
We began by elevating Native American Affairs within the White House and across the federal government. By creating the White House Council of Native American Affairs, we instituted a Cabinet-level focus on Indian country that has involved tribal nations in the decision-making process on issues that give all of our leaders and youth the future they deserve.

We’ve restored nearly 470,000 acres of tribal homelands to their original owners. And by signing the historic Cobell settlement into law, we established the Land Buy-Back Program, a $1.9 billion fund to consolidate individual Indian lands and restore them to tribal trusts.

We’ve strengthened tribal sovereignty and protected women in Indian country by reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, so that tribes can prosecute those who commit domestic violence, whether they’re Native American or not. And we’ve also worked to protect equal justice under the law, giving more power to tribal courts and police.

We’ve created jobs and expanded opportunity by investing in clean energy projects, and the infrastructure that connects tribal communities to the broader economy. We’ve worked to secure quality, affordable health care for more people in Indian Country through the Affordable Care Act, including the permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. And by investing in job training and tribal colleges and universities, we’re helping to prepare our young people to meet the demands of a global economy.

Read More:
Barack Obama: On My Final White House Tribal Nations Conference (Indian Country Today 9/30)

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