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Nygren meets with Biden during the 2023 White House Tribal Nations Summit

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WASHINGTON D.C. — Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren attended the 2023 White House Tribal Nations Summit along with 25th Navajo Nation Council Speaker, Crystalyne Curley Dec. 6.

At the summit, U.S. President Joe Biden signed a groundbreaking executive order that focuses on reforming federal funding and support for tribal nations. This historic move underscores the Biden-Harris Administration's respect for Tribal sovereignty and commitment to promoting tribal self-determination by ensuring that tribal nations have more control over the allocation of federal funding.

In the past, federal policies often undermined the inherent rights of Native peoples to self-governance, leading to enduring damage to Tribal communities, economies, and governments. However, a shift in the 1970s saw the federal government reversing course and advocating for tribal self-determination. Despite these advancements, tribal nations still face significant barriers. Many of the federal funding and support programs they rely on are encumbered by red tape, overly burdensome reporting requirements, unnecessary limitations, or resource-draining requirements that undermine tribes' ability to make autonomous decisions about their community needs.

Biden's executive order aims to reform these issues, ushering in a new era of federal policies that support tribal self-determination. It affirms the fundamental right of tribes to determine their destiny, prosper, and flourish on their terms and underscores the importance of treating tribal governments as equal and vital parts of the American governmental system.

During a one-on-one meeting between Nygren and Biden, Nygren advocated on key issues impacting the Navajo people, including access to basic services such as water, electricity, and broadband. He has also been advocating for more funding and support for educational programs, economic development initiatives, public safety investment and reform, and health services.

"It was an honor to attend the White House Tribal Nations Summit and meet with President Biden," Nygren said. "This executive order is a momentous step that recognizes our inherent sovereignty and the autonomy of the Navajo Nation. The reforms will go a long way in freeing up resources and eliminating unnecessary hurdles that have historically limited our progress. This Executive Order affirms our rights to self-governance, setting the stage for a new era of growth and prosperity for the Diné people."