Biden directs federal agencies to create 'comprehensive strategy' on safety and justice for Native Americans

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President Biden will sign an executive order on Monday directing multiple federal agencies to create a “comprehensive strategy” aimed at improving safety and justice for Native Americans.

The executive order will task the departments of Justice, Interior, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services to develop a plan that will improve public safety for Native Americans and will ask them to address the issue of missing or murdered Indigenous peoples. 

President Joe Biden 
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The announcement will come on Monday during the Tribal Nations summit, which is being hosted by the White House.

The executive order also tasks the departments of Justice, Interior and Homeland Security with addressing law enforcement issues in tribal nations and directs the Department of Homeland Security to develop a plan focused on “prevention and survivor support initiatives.”

During a call with reporters, a senior administration official said the new executive order will help address the high level of crimes that Native Americans face, including Native American women, who “are disproportionately the victims of sexual and gender-based violence.”

The senior administration official also announced that the Department of the Interior will also consider a “20-year withdrawal of federal lands within a 12-mile radius around Chaco Culture National Historical Park,” which would ban all new federal oil and gas leasing and development. 

The Department of Interior has also put a moratorium in place, which bans new state mineral leases within 10 miles of the Chaco Culture National Historical Park, which is in New Mexico.

In this April 23, 2021, file photo, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland speaks during a news briefing at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Biden is set to announce Monday that a total of 17 federal agencies have entered into a tribal treaty rights memorandum of understanding regarding the leasing of land in Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

The senior administration official said the executive order comes as part of Biden’s efforts to restore the relationship between the United States and federally recognized tribes.

“We’re really excited about the work that President Biden’s administration has done to restore the nation and nation relationship between the United States and federally recognized tribes, as well as the work that this administration has done to protect important tribal lands,” the senior official said. “Since taking office, President Biden has taken executive action a number of fronts to protect important tribal lands while also prioritizing environmental justice. Just to give you a few examples of those actions, the president revoked the Keystone XL pipeline permit.”

President Biden signs an executive order on the economy with Vice President Kamala Harris Feb. 24, 2021, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The official said the administration will also be working to create a database of all tribal treaties between the United States that will be accessible for federal employees in addition to the general public.

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