USDA’s Rural Development undersecretary Xochitl Torres Small announced Tuesday USDA is renewing its commitment to strengthen its partnerships with Tribes and Tribal communities.
The commitment seeks to ensure Native people have access to the critical infrastructure and economic resources they need to thrive. The announcement is one of many ways USDA is observing Native American Heritage Month.
Torres Small says, “We celebrate the countless contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives and honor the vital influence they have had on the advancement of our nation.”
USDA is issuing a policy statement that recommits the agency to upholding the agency’s Trust responsibility to Tribal communities, respecting Tribal sovereignty by protecting Tribal treaty rights and fostering economic and cultural prosperity.
Further, the statement commits to engaging with Tribes through timely and meaningful consultation on USDA’s policies and programs, and reflecting on the shared and complex history between Tribes and the federal government.