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At White House Tribal Nations Summit, USDA Fulfills Long-Standing Tribal Requests to Strengthen Food Sovereignty and Expand Indigenous Roles in Forest Management

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced ways the Biden-Harris Administration is fulfilling long-standing Tribal requests for USDA to support and better partner with Tribal Nations in empowering Tribal food sovereignty and co-stewardship of federal lands and waters. Secretary Vilsack announced the first grant recipients under the Indigenous Animals Harvesting and Meat Processing Grant Program, as well as advances in Forest Service co-stewardship with Tribes, including 120 new agreements totaling more than $68 million in investments. Secretary Vilsack also announced the inaugural appointees of the new Tribal Advisory Committee.

Secretary Vilsack made the announcements at the 2023 White House Tribal Nations Summit, where Tribal leaders gathered for Nation-to-Nation conversations with President Biden and senior administration officials on key priorities, new policies and critical issues facing Tribal Nations.

“As Tribes have requested, we are reshaping our programs to incorporate Tribal and Indigenous perspectives, remove barriers, and encourage Tribal self-determination. USDA is working directly with Tribal Nations to support their decisions on how best to co-steward federal lands and forests and the traditions that have been passed down from ancestors and elders,” Secretary Vilsack said. “These investments will also create economic opportunities in Tribal communities, elevate the agency’s work to increase co-stewardship in forest management, while also increasing the availability of affordable, healthy protein sources from Indigenous animals that have been the backbone of Tribal food systems for generations.”

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