Last week, White House Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Mitch Landrieu and other White House officials hosted two virtual roundtables with Native American Tribal and Alaskan Native leaders to discuss how the Administration will deliver for tribal communities and build a better America by implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Landrieu also joined Secretary Deb Haaland in a series of Tribal Consultations at the Department of the Interior to receive input and recommendations from Tribal leaders on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
White House officials outlined the President’s commitment to ensuring that federal infrastructure funding reaches Tribal communities to expand broadband, including with new announcements this week, invest in clean drinking water and water infrastructure, repair roads and bridges with a focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, and equity, deliver the largest investment in tackling legacy pollution in American history.
Tribal leaders shared a number of ideas about how investments of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law can provide a transformational change for their communities. Participants emphasized the importance of continued meaningful consultation and dialogue to help meet the needs of their communities along with Tribal Nations to be eligible for competitive funding from the law.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will rebuild Tribal roads, bridges and rails, expand access to clean drinking water for Native communities, ensure every Native American has access to high-speed internet, tackle the climate crisis, advance environmental justice, and invest in Tribal communities that have too often been left behind by investing more than $13 billion directly in Tribal communities across the country. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also makes Tribal communities eligible for billions more in much-needed investments.
Virtual roundtable participants included:
- Chief Gary Batton (Choctaw Nation, OK)
- President Kevin Killer (Oglala Sioux Tribe, SD)
- President Shannon Holsey (Stock Bridge Munsee Band of Mohican Indians, WI)
- Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin (Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, MN)
- Chairman Leonard Forsman (Suquamish Tribe, WA)
- Dante Desiderio, CEO of NCAI
- Julie Kitka, President of Alaska Federation of Natives
- President Richard Peterson, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
- Carol Gore, President/CEO Cook Inlet Housing Authority
- Val Davidson, President Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
- Megan Stimpfle, Self-Governance Liaison for Norton Sound Health Corporation
- Vivian Korthuis, CEO Association of Village Council Presidents