Based on feedback received during the annual White House Tribal Nations Conference, President Obama established the White House Council on Native American Affairs in June 2013. Chaired by Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, the Council includes representatives from more than 30 federal departments and agencies working collaboratively to promote the development of prosperous and resilient tribal communities by:
- 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 or Native American youth; and
- Protecting and supporting the sustainable management of Native lands, environments, and natural resources.
At the 2013 conference, Secretary Ernest Moniz and Secretary Jewell established the Council’s Tribal Energy Subgroup to address opportunities for federal agencies to coordinate on tribal energy development efforts. Co-chaired by Secretaries Jewell and Moniz, the Subgroup comprises five working groups:
- Policy and Project Coordination—evaluate and align programmatic and policy efforts to support tribal energy development
- Financial and Technical Assistance—evaluate and align financial and technical assistance programs that leverage agency resources, funding, and expertise
- Federal Procurement—evaluate opportunities for federal agencies to purchase energy products and services from Tribes
- Capacity Building and Workforce Development—evaluate, align, and coordinate tribal capacity building and workforce development programs
- Regulatory Process—evaluate opportunities to streamline and accelerate regulatory processes address regulatory compliance challenges.
The Tribal Energy Subgroup and its working groups have begun initial outreach efforts to Indian Country to gain input on the Subgroup’s efforts. To learn more about the working groups, or to provide input on the Subgroup’s efforts, please email IndianEnergy@hq.doe.gov.
For more news on actions to accelerate energy development and address climate change in Indian Country, read the full Fall/Winter 2014 issue of the DOE Office of Indian Energy newsletter, Indian Energy Beat.