Native leaders gather in DC for 2022 Tribal Nations Summit
The two-day Tribal Nations Summit got 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 Federally recognized 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