Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:
Last week, Secretary Vilsack joined St. Louis Rams quarterback and Cherokee nation member Sam Bradford in the USDA People’s Garden to talk about the importance of healthy lifestyles to improve the health of our nation’s kids. Secretary Vilsack and Sam Bradford were accompanied by the Executive Director of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, Robin Schepper, Keith Moore, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education Director, and Janie Hipp, Senior Advisory to Secretary Vilsack with the USDA Office of Tribal Relations. The event underscored the value of programs like Fuel Up to Play 60, Let’s Move! Outside, and the People’s Garden to provide opportunities for parents, teachers and child care givers to get kids up and moving during the summer months. Read more »
Earlier this week I was privileged to co-host a historic meeting here at USDA. I was joined by Jodi Gillette, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Michael Black, Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to discuss ways USDA and BIA can work together to better serve the Tribes.
Our two agencies discussed the many challenges in addressing the needs for economic development, natural resource conservation and agriculture on trust land. We reached an agreement to develop working groups made up of representatives of the two departments to focus on land and credit issues. We will also discuss leasing processes, easement issues, how agreements that require both our department’s approvals can be handled more efficiently and how we can work together to focus on joint staff education and training. The end goal is to improve our processes so that economic development, alternative energy, conservation, agriculture, and all our related programs can deploy in Indian Country in a better way. We are forming two working groups of national and local office staff to clarify the issues and begin building workable solutions. Read more »
Rainbow in the Grand Canyon as seen from Near Mather Point on the South Rim, Grand Canyon N.P. NPS photo.
Few places in the U.S. are as secluded as Supai. Nestled in a side canyon of the Grand Canyon, it has the distinction of being the most remote community in the lower 48 states. The only way in or out is to walk, ride a mule, or take a helicopter. Read more »
Members of the Tribes already know this, but President Obama, Secretary Vilsack and members of this Administration take very seriously the need to work with Tribes on a government to government basis, and to provide the Tribes with the technical and economic support they need not just to survive, but to grow, prosper and thrive. This commitment from the Administration provides me and this department with the opportunity to do great things in concert with First Americans. Read more »
On January 10 and 11, 2011, USDA’s Office of Tribal Relations (OTR) visited Anchorage to conduct a consultation with Alaska Tribes on a wide range of subjects.
At the Consultation, OTR staff, and local and national agency officials met with representatives of Alaska’s Tribes for a discussion of programs and rules of four USDA agencies: Rural Development; Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Service; Farm Service Agency; and Natural Resource Conservation Service. Through this process, USDA was provided with valuable local insight, comments and recommendations concerning delivery of the Department’s programs to Alaska’s Native people. Much discussion related to the Substantially Underserved Trust Areas (SUTA) provision of the 2008 Farm Bill. Read more »
USDA Rural Development South Dakota State Director Elsie Meeks recently awarded the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (CRST) Telephone Authority headquartered in Eagle Butte a $37.9 million USDA Telecommunication Infrastructure Loan to complete a total fiber to premises build out.
Attending the award ceremony was CRST Elders, Ione Lee and Delphine Red Fox. Delphine Red Fox‘s husband Steve Red Fox spent over 30 years working in the rural telecommunications industry and a majority of his time was with the CRST Telephone Authority. He was the first employee to retire from CRST Telephone Authority in 2005, a significant milestone for himself, his family and also for the company. Steve began his career in the 1960′s with aerial plant construction and then moved into the copper underground plant in the 1970′s as the company became a REA borrower. Read more »