On Wednesday, June 26th, 2013, Chairperson Silvia Burley received an email from Mr. Charles Galbraith, Associate Director for Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House in regards to an immediate press release announcing that President Obama signed an Executive Order Establishing the White House Council on Native American Affairs.

The Executive Order reiterates that the United States of America recognizes a government-to-government relationship, as well as a unique legal and political relationship, with federally recognized tribes. This order establishes a national policy to ensure that the Federal Government engages in a true and lasting government-to-government relationship with federally recognized tribes in a more coordinated and effective manner, including better carrying out its trust responsibilities. The Council shall improve coordination of Federal programs and the use of resources available to tribal communities.

The Secretary of the Interior shall serve as the Chair of the Council, which shall also include the heads of the following executive departments, agencies, and offices: the Dept. of the State; Dept. of the Treasury; Dept. of Defense; Dept. of Justice; Dept. of Agriculture; Dept. of Commerce; Dept. of Labor; Dept. of Health and Human Services; Dept. of Housing and Urban Development; Dept. of Transportation; Dept. of Energy; Dept. of Education; Dept. of Veterans Affairs; Office of Management and Budget; Environmental Protection Agency; Small Business Administration; Council of Economic Advisers; Office of National Drug Control Policy; Domestic Policy Council; National Economic Council; Office of Science and Technology Policy; Council of Environmental Quality; White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs; Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; Denali Commission; and such other executive departments, agencies, and offices as the Chair may, from time to time, designate.

The Council shall coordinate its outreach to federally recognized tribes through the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. The Council shall coordinate its policy development through the Domestic Policy Council. For the purposes of this order, “American Indian and Alaska Native” means a member of an Indian Tribe, as membership is defined by the tribe.