Final Obama Administration White House Tribal Nations Conference

Sep 27, 2016

Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Represented by Chief Beverly Cook

Akwesasne, NY — On September 26, 2016, Tribal Chief Beverly Cook represented the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe at the White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, DC. During the eighth and final Tribal Nations Conference of the Obama Administration, Chief Cook networked with governmental officials and members of the White House Council on Native American Affairs. Concurrently, Chief Eric Thompson met with key members of Congress to advocate for the Tribe’s legislative priorities; including environmental justice and improved border passage for the people of the community of Akwesasne.

Each of the 567 federally recognized tribes were invited to send one representative to the Tribal Nations Conference. “Representing people in the government-to-government relationship is a tremendous honor and responsibility,” expressed Chief Cook. “Under the Obama Administration, we’ve strengthened the voice of Indian Country. I’m humbled by the strength of our people when we come together as one. Our people are resilient, we are powerful and I’m grateful our Native youth are included in this event; the path we take, they will follow.”

Preceding the President’s event, the White House released the 2015 Tribal Nations Conference Progress Report, Building Prosperous & Resilient Tribal Nations. The report identifies progress made in strengthening the Nation-to-Nation relationship with tribes, along with other important milestones achieved during the Obama Administration. Highlighted is the need for meaningful consultation during federal, state, or private infrastructure development.

“Chief Ron LaFrance and Sub-Chief Cheryl Jacobs carried our message of solidarity and support to the Standing Rock Sioux in their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline, an imminent environmental disaster,” shared Chief Thompson. “The Obama Administration’s annual White House Tribal Nations Conference is evidence of the strength of tribe’s collective voices. During this final event, we anticipate the President to reflect on progress made, but to also emphasize imperative concerns that resonate throughout Indian Country, especially concerning meaningful input into a flawed federal consultation process highlighted by the recent protests surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline.”

An account of the conference will be shared with tribal members at the Monthly Tribal Meeting being held on Kenténha/October 1, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. in the Community Building lobby.

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The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council is the duly elected and federally recognized government of the Saint Regis Mohawk People. ­