Ambassador Lisa Carty
Representative for Economic and Social Affairs
New York, New York
April 20, 2023
Thank you Chair. As you heard from Secretary Haaland earlier this week, the Biden-Harris Administration continues to prioritize Indigenous Peoples’ well-being and resilience both domestically and internationally.
We are putting this commitment into action: domestically, we are advancing the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, focusing on the needs of indigenous communities.
In doing so, we are drawing on the lessons and recommendations of this very forum.
The White House Council on Native American Affairs, co-chaired by Secretary of the Interior Haaland, and U.S. Domestic Policy Advisor, Susan Rice, mirrors the Permanent Forum’s six mandated areas.
This White House Council has urgently prioritized issues that acutely affect indigenous communities. We have begun to correct historical inequities through historic investments in healthcare and education in Native communities.
We are empowering Native leaders to fight against climate change. We are training and hiring more Native healthcare workers to improve the health of our peoples. We are super-charging economic development and promoting indigenous languages and culture with an historic $45 billion investment in Indian Country in just 20 months. And we are protecting indigenous women and girls through the Trilateral Working Group on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls alongside Mexico and Canada.
These issues are not just indigenous issues – they require coordinated and sustained global solutions. And most importantly, they affect us all. Because indigenous issues are global issues.
Please allow me to close by highlighting some concrete progress the U.S. has made on one of our top priorities: shedding light on the troubled history of federal Indian boarding school policies and their legacy for Indigenous Peoples.
In May 2022, through the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, the United States released the first volume of an investigative report as part of the Initiative. It calls for connecting communities with trauma-informed support and facilitating the collection of a permanent oral history.
The investigation is the first attempt by the United States Government to comprehensively address the facts and consequences of its Federal Indian boarding school policies – policies that resulted in the cultural assimilation and territorial dispossession of Indigenous peoples through the forced removal and relocation of their children to schools across 37 States.
Allow me to close by saying that the United States firmly believes that to reach solutions to global challenges, indigenous communities must not only be involved in the conversation – you should be leading the conversation.
We look forward to learning from your perspectives. Thank you.