November 2, 2009
BROOKS, Calif. – On November 5, 2009, Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation will take part in the first-of-its-kind White House conference with federally recognized tribes. The conference will be hosted by President Obama and will take place from 9am to 5:30pm.
President Obama said, “I look forward to hearing directly from the leaders in Indian Country about what my Administration can do to not only meet their needs, but help improve their lives and the lives of their peoples. This conference will serve as part of the ongoing and important consultation process that I value, and further strengthen the Nation-to-Nation relationship. ”
Commenting on this historic opportunity, Chairman McKay said, “This allows our people to bring our priorities—Indian health and welfare, clean energy and agriculture as well as tribal sovereignty and our Nation-to-Nation relationship with the United States government—directly to the president and his Administration. I view this as the first step in the beginning of a strengthened relationship with the Obama Administration and the federal government.”
The White House has issued invitations to leaders of all 564 federally recognized tribes to attend this conference. The tribes will have the opportunity to interact directly with the president and other top administration officials. Each federally recognized tribe is allowed to send one representative. Marshall McKay, Tribal Chairman for Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, will represent Yocha Dehe.
The meeting will be held at the Sidney R. Yates Auditorium of the Department of the Interior in Washington D.C. W. Ron Allen, a member of the executive board of the National Congress of American Indians and Chairman of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, said the White House would have been a more impressive setting, but believes it’s important to hold the meeting in an environment that will be conducive to constructive dialogue. Allen emphasized that Tribal leaders expect to be able to present their views and receive specific answers and policy outlines from the president.