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Biden will consult with Indian chiefs on federal policy

In March, the US Department of the Interior will begin consultations with Native American leaders on COVID-19, economic security, racial justice and climate change, as part of US President Joe Biden's efforts to ensure greater tribal participation in federal policy discussions. Writes about it Reuters.

Photo: Shutterstock

On January 26, Biden issued a decree aimed at strengthening the relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes.

The Department of the Interior, which oversees the nation's tribal and federal lands, will be led by New Mexico Representative Deb Haaland, who will become the first Native American to head a government agency if approved by Congress.

Some tribes have felt marginalized following important decisions by President Donald Trump's administration.

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A 2019 report from the Government Audit Office found major gaps in tribal engagement, especially on infrastructure projects.

Native American tribes have also been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic due to inequalities in health and higher levels of poverty. Under Trump, the Tribes received $ 8 billion in aid, but only after serious delays caused by a legal dispute.

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“Informative consultation ensures that we focus on tribal voices in addressing health, economic, racial justice and climate crises - all of which disproportionately affect American Indians and Alaska Natives,” said Anne Marie Bledsoe Downs, Commissioner for the Department of Governance tribesmen and deputy attorney for Indian affairs.

Several western Republican senators have said they will apparently oppose her because of her support for policies such as the progressive left's Green New Deal. Although it is likely that she will have enough support to get confirmation.

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