Tom Vilsack: USDA is making progress in partnership with tribes

Participants in the Menominee Nation's cooking class sample the new recipes they learned to prepare. Photo by Bob Nichols / USDA / Flickr

Secretary Tom Vilsack, who participated in the White House Tribal Nations Conference on Wednesday, discusses Indian Country advances at the Department of Agriculture:
Shortly after taking office, I joined other Cabinet officials on a visit to rural Southwest Alaska. We met with Alaska Native leaders and heard firsthand the difficulties facing Native Americans living in small communities in remote, rural areas. Since that time, this administration has worked each day to provide Native Americans with improved housing, better educational opportunities, clean water and sanitation, and the opportunity to create good jobs. Across government, and here at USDA, we’ve made progress.

This past week, I joined President Obama and members of the Cabinet at the sixth White House Tribal Nations Conference here in Washington, DC. In addition to serving as the Chair of the White House Rural Council, I am also a member of the White House Council on Native American Affairs, chaired by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. Our priorities in Indian Country include promoting sustainable economic development; supporting greater access to and control over healthcare; improving the effectiveness and efficiency of tribal justice systems; expanding and improving educational opportunities for Native American youth; and protecting and supporting the sustainable management of Native lands, environments and natural resources.

The Obama Administration has been committed to increasing tribal self-governance and self-determination, making it possible for tribes to develop resources and improve infrastructure on their lands, and also create employment and business opportunities for Native American families, including veterans and youth.

Get the Story:
Tom Vilsack: USDA Partners with Native Americans (USDA Blog 12/5)

Another Opinion:
Leslie Wheelock: The Sixth Tribal Nations Conference – Focusing on Youth (USDA Blog 12/5)

Also Today:
Lindsay Walle: Green Thumbs near Green Bay: Menominee Tribe Cultivates Nutrition Education (USDA Blog 12/5)

Join the Conversation
Related Stories:
Videos from sixth annual White House Tribal Nations Conference (12/4)
Karen Diver & Reggie Joule: Tribes take action on climate change (12/4)
Michael Connor: Making strides with Cobell land buyback program (12/4)
President Obama makes Native youth a priority in administration (12/4)
Vice President Biden calls for inclusion of Alaska Natives in VAWA (12/4)
White House recognizes two tribes as Climate Action Champions (12/4)
White House to host first-ever Tribal Youth Gathering next year (12/3)
White House Fact Sheet: Sixth annual Tribal Nations Conference (12/3)
President Obama welcomes 12 tribal leaders to White House (12/2)
Vice President Joe Biden to address Tribal Nations Conference (12/2)
Tentative schedule for White House Tribal Nations Conference (11/26)
White House invites youth to DC for Tribal Nations Conference (11/26)
Obamas welcome youth from Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to DC (11/21)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux youth to join White House meet (11/21)
Republicans hold up action on Alaska tribal jurisdiction measure (11/19)
White House Tribal Nations Conference takes place December 3 (10/20)