Building on President Obama’s commitment to strengthen the government-to-government relationship with tribal nations, Secretary Moniz traveled to Arizona last week for a summit and roundtable dialogue with tribal leaders. This marks the first official visit of a Cabinet Secretary with tribal leaders in Indian Country after the White House Tribal Nations Conference earlier this month. As a co-chair of the White House Council on Native American Affairs Energy Sub-Group, the Energy Department is working with tribal leadership to foster an ongoing and meaningful dialogue that Secretary Moniz will see through the national Tribal Energy Conference taking place in Washington in the spring of 2015 and far beyond.
As Secretary Moniz’s first official visit to Arizona and the Gila River Indian Community’s reservation, he took this opportunity to discuss the importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education for Native American youth as a means of building hope for the future, building resilient economies for tribal governments and building strong native nations for future generations.
On the second day of the summit, Secretary Moniz met with tribal leadership on Energy Department working groups covering issues ranging from environmental cleanup to energy policy and resilience. Secretary Moniz also announced the formalization of the Nuclear Energy Tribal Working Group (NETWG), providing a forum for tribal leaders to engage with the Department on a wide scope of nuclear energy issues.