Governor Anoatubby Meets with President Obama at White House

WASHINGTON, D.C. –President Barack Obama welcomed Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby and 11 other Native American leaders to the White House for a Nov. 12 conference prior to Wednesday’s White House Tribal Nations Conference.

“Historically, effective communication between tribal leaders and the federal government is vital to a productive government-to-government relationship,” Gov. Anoatubby said following the meeting.

“President Obama’s administration has worked closely with tribal leaders to implement a number of policies which have helped enhance the quality of life of Native Americans. He has developed a tribal consultation policy enabling leaders of American Indian tribes to have meaningful input into the development of policies which have enhanced housing, health care, education, economic development and law enforcement services in Indian Country.

“This meeting to discuss vital policy issues affecting Native Americans directly with President Obama is further evidence the president is committed to continuing to develop that relationship,” the longtime Chickasaw Nation leader added.

President Obama, administration officials and tribal leaders discussed job creation, economic development in tribal communities and other issues of importance to Native Americans.

Administration officials at the meeting included Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell, Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, White House Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Munoz, Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling and Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs David Agnew.

The White House blog post about the meeting can be found at the following address.

Other tribal leaders in attendance were:

  • Melanie Benjamin, chief executive, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe of Minnesota
  • Leonard Forsman, chairman, Suquamish Tribe of Washington
  • Joe Garcia, governor, Ohkay Owingeh of New Mexico
  • Ray Halibritter, nation representative and CEO, Oneida Indian Nations of New York
  • Carole Lankford, vice chairwoman, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of Montana
  • Rex Lee Jim, vice president, Navajo Nation of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah
  • Chris McNeil, CEO, Sealaska of Alaska
  • Rosemary Morillo, chairwoman, Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians of California
  • Terri Parton, president, Wichita and Affiliated Tribes of Oklahoma
  • Terry Rambler, chairman, San Carlos Apache Tribe of Arizona
  • Robert Shepherd, chairman, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of South Dakota