On February 27, the White House released its 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference Progress Report, Investing in the Future of Tribal Nations. The report gives substance to the President’s stated commitment to strengthening nation-to-nation relationships with Indian Tribes by documenting the progress the Administration has made in Indian Country over the past year.

Addressing tribal leaders at the sixth White House Tribal Nations Conference in November 2014, President Obama pointed to Native youth as the driving force behind the accomplishments highlighted in the report. “Your children represent the best of this country and its future,” he said. “Together, we can make sure that every Native young person is treated like a valuable member not only of your nation, but of the American family—that every Native young person gets an equal shot at the American Dream.”

The President’s remarks stemmed from the commitment he made to improving opportunities for Native youth during his July 2014 trip to the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation, where he dedicated efforts to collaborate with Tribes on education and economic development in Indian Country.

This year’s report highlights the significant advances the federal government has made on that front over the past year, including:

  • The announcement of Generation Indigenous (Gen I), a comprehensive initiative designed to address the education, physical and mental health, and social service needs of Native youth
  • New recommendations for reducing and mitigating the impact of violence on Native children from the Department of Justice’s Task Force on American Indian/Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence
  • New actions from the Administration’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, including a new $10 million program to help Tribes prepare for the effects of climate change
  • The Administration’s continued efforts to strengthen the sovereignty of tribal nations, including the restoration of over 514,000 acres of land to tribal ownership
  • Increasing tribal control of schools through the comprehensive redesign of the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education.