Biden to protect Native American heritage site from drilling and crackdown on human trafficking


President Joe Biden sought to show his commitment to Native Americans on Monday by announcing a step to help improve public safety and justice for their communities, which experience violent crime at rates more than double the national average. The administration also announced plans to continue a 20-year ban on oil and gas drilling at Chaco Canyon, a former Native American heritage site in northwest New Mexico. “We must continue to uphold the dignity and sovereignty of tribal nations,” Biden said at a White House summit of tribal nations, the first since 2016. The two-day summit was being held virtually due to the pandemic COVID-19, which has affected Native Americans and Alaska Natives at disproportionate rates. Biden signed an executive order. instruct the departments of justice, internal security and the interior to work together to help combat human trafficking and crime on indigenous lands. They will work to increase participation in Amber Alert programs and national training programs for federal officers, and will appoint a liaison officer who can speak to family members and lawyers. Native Americans and Alaska Natives are more than twice as likely to be victims of violent crime. and Native American women are at least twice as likely to be raped or sexually assaulted compared to other races, according to the Association on American Indian Affairs. Culturally, the administration announced long-sought after action to protect Chaco Canyon, a national park and UNESCO World Heritage site northwest of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Home Secretary Deb Haaland said the Bureau of Land Management will begin to study the possible 20-year withdrawal of federal lands within a 10-mile radius of Chaco Culture National Historic Park. Such a decision would prevent the federal government from leasing and developing oil and gas on these lands. These lands will not be eligible for lease while the study is underway, although previous administrations have already chosen to administratively impose the buffer zone. Environmentalists and some tribes have complained that such a move is temporary and that permanent protections are needed. But it is not that simple ; as some tribes fought for protections, the Navajo Nation, which has more to lose by limiting oil and gas, requested a smaller radius around the site, a former center of Pueblo culture. meaning to the indigenous peoples whose ancestors lived, worked and prospered in this high desert community, ”said Haaland, the first Native American to head the Home Office, the powerful federal agency that has wielded influence over American tribes since then. generations. Haaland is a member of the Laguna Pueblo. “The time has come to consider more sustainable protections for the living landscape that is the Chaco, so that we can pass on this rich cultural heritage to future generations,” she said. The secretary represented New Mexico, where Chaco Canyon is located, in the United States House of Representatives before being narrowly confirmed by the Senate to take over inside. First Lady Jill Biden, an English teacher, addressed the summit on the importance of preserving indigenous languages. Vice President Kamala Harris was scheduled to speak on Tuesday, the last day. The Tribal Nations Summit coincides with National Native American Heritage Month and is hosted for the first time by the White House, with leaders from more than 570 tribes in the United States expected to attend. The summit did not take place during the Trump administration; past conferences have taken place at the Ministry of the Interior. Since taking office in January, Biden has taken several steps that the White House says demonstrate his commitment to tribal nations. Among them, he appointed Haaland to lead the Home Office, its $ 31 billion coronavirus relief plan for tribal communities, and the administration working closely with tribal leaders to help make COVID-19 vaccination rates among Native Americans among the highest in the country, the White House said. Navajo Nation Council delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty said she hoped the summit would help cut red tape when building critical infrastructure on tribal lands. Biden also spoke about infrastructure, particularly noting that the bipartisan $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill he signed on Monday afternoon would affect $ 13 billion in Native American communities who he said are “chronically. underfunded “for generations. Biden recently became the first president to issue a proclamation designating October 11 as Indigenous Peoples Day, boosting long-standing efforts to refocus the federal holiday celebrating Christopher Columbus towards an appreciation of Indigenous peoples. Associate Press Editors Colleen Long in Washington and Susan Montoya Bryan in Albuquerque, NM, contributed to this report.

President Joe Biden sought to show his commitment to Native Americans on Monday by announcing a step to help improve public safety and justice for their communities, which experience violent crime at rates more than double the national average.

The administration also announced plans to continue a 20-year ban on oil and gas drilling at Chaco Canyon, a former Native American heritage site in northwest New Mexico.

“We must continue to uphold the dignity and sovereignty of tribal nations,” Biden said at a tribal nations summit at the White House, the first since 2016. The two-day summit was being held virtually due to the pandemic of COVID-19. , which affected Native Americans and Alaska Natives at disproportionate rates.

Biden signed an executive order directing the justice, homeland security, and home departments to work together to help tackle human trafficking and crime on indigenous lands. They will work to strengthen participation in Amber Alert programs and national training programs for federal officers, and will appoint a liaison officer who can speak to family members and lawyers.

According to the Association on American Indian Affairs, Native Americans and Alaska Natives are more than twice as likely to be victims of violent crime, and Native American women are at least twice as likely to be raped or sexually assaulted compared to other races.

Culturally, the administration announced long-sought after action to protect Chaco Canyon, a national park and UNESCO World Heritage site northwest of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Home Secretary Deb Haaland said the Bureau of Land Management will begin to explore the possible 20-year withdrawal of federal lands within a 10-mile radius of Chaco Culture National Historic Park. Such a decision would prevent the federal government from leasing and developing oil and gas on these lands. These lands will not be eligible for lease while the study is underway, although previous administrations have already chosen to administratively impose the buffer zone.

Environmentalists and some tribes have complained that such a move is temporary and that permanent protections are needed. But it is not that simple ; While some tribes fought for protections, the Navajo Nation, which has more to lose by limiting oil and gas, requested a smaller radius around the site, a former center of Pueblo culture.

“Chaco Canyon is a sacred place that has deep meaning for the Indigenous peoples whose ancestors lived, worked and prospered in this high desert community,” said Haaland, the first Native American to head the Department of the Interior, the powerful federal agency that has exerted influence over American tribes for generations. Haaland is a member of the Laguna Pueblo.

“Now is the time to consider more sustainable protections for the living landscape that is the Chaco, so that we can pass on this rich cultural heritage to future generations,” she said. The secretary represented New Mexico, where Chaco Canyon is located, in the United States House of Representatives before being narrowly confirmed by the Senate to take over inside.

First Lady Jill Biden, an English teacher, addressed the summit on the importance of preserving indigenous languages. Vice President Kamala Harris was scheduled to speak on Tuesday, the last day.

The Tribal Nations Summit coincides with National Native American Heritage Month and is hosted for the first time by the White House, with the participation of leaders from more than 570 tribes in the United States. The summit did not take place during the Trump administration; past conferences have taken place at the Ministry of the Interior.

Since taking office in January, Biden has taken several steps that the White House says demonstrate his commitment to tribal nations.

Among them, he appointed Haaland to lead the Home Office, its $ 31 billion coronavirus relief plan for tribal communities, and the administration working closely with tribal leaders to help make COVID-19 vaccination rates among Native Americans among the highest in the country, the White said House.

Navajo Nation Council delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty said she hoped the summit would help cut red tape when building critical infrastructure on tribal lands.

Biden also spoke about infrastructure, particularly noting that the bipartisan $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill he signed on Monday afternoon would affect $ 13 billion in Native American communities which he said are “chronically. underfunded “for generations.

Biden recently became the first president to issue a proclamation designating October 11 as Indigenous Peoples Day, boosting long-standing efforts to refocus the federal holiday celebrating Christopher Columbus towards an appreciation of Indigenous peoples.

Associated Press writers Colleen Long in Washington and Susan Montoya Bryan in Albuquerque, NM, contributed to this report.

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