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USDA, Interior Department Create Tribal Homelands Initiative

President Joe Biden announced the Tribal Homelands Initiative during the White House Tribal Nations Summit Monday. 

The initiative is a partnership between the Interior Department and the Department of Agriculture. 

USDA says the effort will improve federal stewardship of public lands, waters, and wildlife by strengthening the role of tribal communities in federal land management. 

Through a joint Secretarial Order, the two departments codified a policy to facilitate agreements with tribes to collaborate in the co-stewardship of federal lands. 

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, “Shared stewardship of land management is a priority for USDA, and an important part of our responsibility to tribal nations.” 

The Departments also committed to ensuring that all decisions relating to federal stewardship of lands, waters, and wildlife include consideration of how to safeguard the treaty, spiritual, subsistence, and cultural interests of any Indian Tribes. 

The order additionally directs the departments to ensure that tribal governments play an integral role in decision-making related to federal lands.

(Story Courtesy of NAFB News Service)

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