LITTLE BOSTON — Joseph Price of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Youth Services Department and Suquamish Tribe Chairman Leonard Forsman will participate in the fourth annual White House Tribal Nations Conference.
The conference is Dec. 5, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Interior Department’s Sidney R. Yates Auditorium. A representative from each of the 566 federally recognized Tribes in the U.S. is expected to attend.
The White House hosts the annual conference to strengthen the relationship between the United States government and tribal governments; and to develop and implement a policy agenda to achieve a brighter future for tribal governments and the people they serve. The conference includes breakout sessions on such issues as creating jobs and growing tribal economies, promoting safe and strong tribal communities, protecting natural resources and respect for cultural rights, and improving access to health care, education, housing, infrastructure and other federal services.
President Obama is expected to address the conference, according to the White House. At the 2011 conference, Obama told tribal leaders, “I believe that one day, we’re going to be able to look back on these years and say that this was a turning point. This was the moment when we began to build a strong middle class in Indian Country; the moment when businesses, large and small, began opening up in reservations; the moment when we stopped repeating the mistakes of the past, and began building a better future together, one that honors old traditions and welcomes every Native American into the American Dream.”
Also at the 2011 Conference, the president announced the signing of Executive Order No. 13592 entitled, “Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities.”