President Barack Obama signed an executive order Wednesday to establish the White House Council on Native American Affairs.
The Order recognizes a legal and political relationship between tribes and the federal government. The council will be headed by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and will consist of members from every Cabinet department and other federal agencies.
“The Council shall work across executive departments, agencies, and offices to coordinate development of policy recommendations to support tribal self-governance and improve the quality of life for Native Americans, and shall coordinate the United States Government’s engagement with tribal governments and their communities,” the executive order states.
The Order emphasizes the importance of a government-to-government relationship in creating a brighter future for Native American tribes. The Council will seek to coordinate American Indian policy across the federal government.
“This order establishes a national policy to ensure that the Federal Government engages in a true and lasting government-to-government relationship with federally recognized tribes in a more coordinated and effective manner, including by better carrying out its trust responsibilities,” Obama said in the Order.