Heather Dawn Thompson has been named the new head of the USDA’s Office of Tribal Relations.
“This is a restoration of that the office was originally created,” she recently noted. “It was created and designed legislatively to be directly under the Secretary. It had been moved in the past administration, and so we are delighted to see the office move back to its position of prominence directly under the Secretary.”
Thompson noted this has been one of many key issue for Native Americans.
“You know, all of the USDA stakeholders are so important and essential. But tribal governments have a different relationship with the United States government; it’s a diplomatic relationship. A government to government relationship based on treaties and so it’s a different type of conversation. It’s a different obligation and it’s a different legal structure. And so we are delighted, and I know Indian Country is delighted that this administration has recognized that.”
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