National Service Agency Seeks Input from Tribal Leaders on Consultation Process

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Dec 16, 2009

Washington, DC—In response to President Obama's executive Memorandum on Tribal Consultation, the Corporation for National and Community Service held its second conference call with tribal leaders today. Ron Lessard, the agency's Strategic Advisor for Native American Affairs, who led the conference call, sought the input of tribal leaders on the parameters of a comprehensive agency-wide policy on tribal consultation.

On November 5, President Obama signed an executive memorandum that directed all federal departments and agencies to develop a “plan of actions” to implement the policies and directives of Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, issued by President Clinton on November 6, 2000.

“This is the first in many steps to build a more meaningful, ongoing dialogue between the Corporation and tribal nations,” said Nicola Goren, the Corporation's Acting CEO. “Establishing a consultation policy will help to ensure that our programs are adequately addressing the needs of tribal nations and engaging their communities in service to others.”

The Corporation is committed to enhancing the collaboration process across all programs and will continue to support the culture of service that has existed in tribal communities for generations, including assisting elders, cultural and language preservation, economic development, health and wellness, youth leadership, education attainment, and traditional lands preservation.

“The Corporation has a longstanding commitment to working with tribal nations on a government-to-government basis,” said Ron Lessard. “We want to ensure that the tribal nations are heard, their concerns are amplified and that our programs are responsive to their needs.”

The conference call covered several key issues including how the agency can better address the social challenges affecting tribal communities, ways to strengthen the relationship between the Corporation and the tribal nations, and how frequently consultations should occur. To develop the consultation plan and ensure that it reflects the concerns of tribal nations, the Corporation is soliciting input from tribal leaders. Comments can be sent to Ron Lessard, Strategic Advisor for Native American Affairs at 1201 New York Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20525 or via email at rlessard@cns.gov. The deadline for comment is December 30, 2009.

Media Contact

Samantha Jo Warfield
(202) 606-6775
sjwarfield@cns.gov

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