USDA to Hold Collaboration Meeting with Alaska Tribal Governments in Ketchikan
May 01, 2012
The USDA-led meetings entail face-to-face collaborations with tribal leaders to share information on federal programs and services for rural Alaska, and discuss relevant topics for their communities. The meetings will be held in designated local communities throughout the various regions of Alaska.
“Collaboration with Alaska’s 229 federally recognized tribes in their local areas is a considerable undertaking, but we feel this is the best way to understand the needs of Native communities. It presents an opportunity to seek their advice and provide answers to their questions on federal programs and services,” said Nordlund. “It’s our hope to strengthen the government-to-government relationship between tribal leaders and the federal government; provide an overview, by topic, of certain federal programs that have an effect on tribes; and engage in constructive dialogue, respond to questions and solicit ideas regarding federal programs,” added Nordlund.
The consultation discussions will be focused on five topics:
Five USDA agencies will participate in the meetings, including Rural Development, Farm Service Agency, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Forest Service, and Food and Nutrition Service.
Additionally, five other federal agencies with similar programs will be represented, including: Department of Housing and Urban Development, Small Business Administration, Economic Development Administration, Department of Energy and the Denali Commission.
USDA Farm Service Agency Executive State Director Danny Consenstein said, “Food security is a big issue in our rural areas. Not only are fish and game important, but growing more local produce can create jobs, healthier food, and more self-sufficient communities. I’m excited to talk with and learn from tribal leaders about this important topic.”
"I look forward to participating in the collaborations and hearing directly from tribal leaders about what they need and expect from federal agencies. It will be an opportunity to explain our programs and the assistance we can provide,” said Forrest Cole, Tongass National Forest Supervisor
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