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Native leaders gather in DC for 2022 Tribal Nations Summit

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. (center)
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. (center)

Thetwo-day Tribal Nations Summitgot underway on Wednesday. It’s the first in-person nations summit of the Biden-Harris administration and is being held at the Department of the Interior in Washington, DC. KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.

Representatives from the 574 Federallyrecognized tribal nations were in attendance for the first day of the two-day summit hosted by Secretary Deb Haaland. The conference holds special significance for Haaland, who became the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary last year.

Also in attendance Wednesday and speaking on stage with Secretary Haaland, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Chuck Hoskin Jr. The two were a part of a roundtable about the importance of preserving indigenous languages.

“The truth is that most Cherokees are like their chief. They don’t speak Cherokee. We have 441,000 citizens and only 2,000 fluent speakers left, so we want everybody to understand the purpose. And the purpose is whether you speak Cherokee or not, it’s somewhere in your heart.”

Also, at the summit, the Department of the Interior will announce new investments dedicated to addressing the growing risks faced by many Tribes due to climate change. For 89 9 KRPS, I’m Fred Fletcher-Fierro

Since 2017 Fred Fletcher-Fierro has driven up Highway 171 through thunderstorms, downpours, snow, and ice storms to host KRPS’s Morning Edition. He’s also a daily reporter for the station, covering city government, elections, public safety, arts, entertainment, culture, sports and more. Fred has also spearheaded and overseen a sea change in programming for KRPS from a legacy classical station to one that airs a balance of classical, news, jazz, and cultural programming that better reflects the diverse audience of the Four States. For over two months in the fall of 2022 he worked remotely with NPR staff to relaunch to an NPR style news and information website.
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