President Joe Biden will sign an executive order to improve public safety and justice for Native Americans during the first summit of tribal nations since 2016, a White House official reported.
The leaders of the more than 570 indigenous peoples of the United States are expected to gather at the two-day event, with more than 30 of them speaking during it. The summit will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected Alaska Indians and tribes at a disproportionate rate.
Biden’s order will require the departments of Justice, Homeland Security and the Interior to coordinate to help combat human trafficking and crime on native lands, officials said. They are looking for ways to strengthen participation in Amber Alert programs and national training programs for federal agents. They will also create a liaison position that can speak to family members and advocates.
Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will participate in the summit on Monday, and Vice President Kamala Harris will do so on Tuesday. Several members of Biden’s cabinet will also speak.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the summit coincides with National Indian Heritage Month and is being hosted by the White House for the first time. The summit did not take place during the administration of former President Donald Trump. Previous conferences were held at the Department of the Interior.
Biden will use the summit to announce measures to improve public safety and justice for Native Americans and to protect private lands, treaty rights and holy sites, Psaki said.
American Indians and Alaska Native peoples are more than twice as likely to be victims of violent crime, and at least twice as likely to be raped or sexually assaulted, compared to other races, according to the Indian Affairs Association. from the United States.