President Barack Obama meets with a group of tribal leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, November 12, 2013.

Courtesy Pete Souza/White House

President Barack Obama meets with a group of tribal leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, November 12, 2013.

President Obama Meets With Tribal Leaders Ahead of Tribal Conference

Before the 2013 White House Tribal Nations Conference scheduled for tomorrow, President Barack Obama sat down with a dozen tribal leaders to discuss job creation and economic development in tribal communities according to a White House Blog post.

Tribal leaders met with Obama and members of his administration that included Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, White House Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling and Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs David Agnew.

The pre-Conference meeting gave “tribal leaders an opportunity to directly engage wit the President on a leader-to-leader, government-to-government basis and to discuss key issues facing Indian country at the highest level of government,” the blog said.

Among the issues the tribal leaders in attendance spoke about were job creation, including expanding opportunity for renewable energy on tribal lands, increasing access to capital and foreign direct investment opportunities in Indian country, the successes of tribal self-determination, improving educational outcomes, and jurisdictional challenges.

The tribal leaders who attended the meeting were Bill Anoatubby, governor Chickasaw Nation; Melanie Benjamin, chief executive Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe; Leonard Forsman, chairman Suquamish Tribe; Joe Garcia, governor Ohkay Owingeh; Ray Halbritter, nation representative and CEO Oneida Indian Nation; Carole Lankford, vice chairwoman Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes; Rex Lee Jim, vice president Navajo Nation; Chris McNeil, CEO Sealaska; Rosemary Morillo, chairwoman Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians; Terri Parton, president Wichita and Affiliated Tribes; Terry Rambler, chairman San Carlos Apache Tribe; and Robert Shepherd, chairman Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate.

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