MILWAUKEE (Sputnik) — The administration of US President Donald Trump is yet to appoint key people in positions that work with the representatives of the Native American tribes on a daily basis, National Congress of American Indians President Brian Cladoosby told Sputnik on Monday.
"It's not the first time that we've gone through a change of administration. This administration has not been as quick as the others in appointing key positions in Interior and Indian Health and Human Services. From that standpoint, they've been a little slow in getting key people in positions that work with us on a day to day basis. We hope that sooner than later they would have those key positions in place to keep this good work on," Cladoosby said on the sidelines of the NCAI 74th Annual Convention & Marketplace in Milwaukee.
"It impacts our work because there are certain things that are required by law through statutes and regulations, rules, and bills that have been passed that need to be implemented. So, implementation is a key to a lot of issues that impact tribes, and if that implementation is not taking place, it affects us," Cladoosby explained.
The NCAI president noted the Obama Administration had been one of the best administrations in the US history in terms of dealing with the issues of the Native American tribes.
"He [Obama] set the bar very very high, and so we have a lot of expectations that this administration and those that are putting key positions that are dealing with native issues will continue to work as hard as the last administration did to lift up the Native American communities," he underlined.
Cladoosby stressed that first and foremost the administration needed to really address whether or not it was fulfilling its trust responsibility to the native tribes.
"That is a very sacred responsibility that they took on when they signed these treaties with all the tribes in the US. Tribes seeded all the land to the United States government. They have to recognize that these trust responsibilities are sacred obligation and they have to fully understand what that means, its relationship that the tribes and the federal government did not go into lightly… It's not something that we've asked for, but it's something we inherited," he stated.
The US federal government recognizes 567 Indian nations in 33 states, including 229 in Alaska. Native American tribes are further recognized by their respective state governments, according to the NCAI.