President-elect Donald J. Trump is wasting no time as he transitions toward his January 20, 2017 inauguration. He’s met with tech giants like Elon Musk of Tesla and Jeff Bezos of Amazon. He even held meetings with Kanye West, Leonardo Dicaprio and Anne Wintour. Now he’s moving from industry and environmental issues to Native American issues.

In October, Trump announced the formation of his Native American Coaltion. Under the coalition’s chair, U.S. Representative Markwayne Mullin, the group formed to address the growing social and economic issues within the Native American community.

Mullin organized a December meeting between tribal leaders and Mr. Trump’s transition team. Around 200 people attended, including members of the transition staff and officials from the United States Department of the Interior.

The group discussed a wide range of topics, which reportedly included the Dakota Access pipeline, tribal sovereignty, water and land rights, job development and energy production. The tribal leaders in attendance spoke about their individual concerns and gave recommendations on how the incoming president’s team can address those concerns.

Shortly after the meeting, Trump announced Montana Representative Ryan Zinke as his pick to lead the Department of the Interior. Zinke issued a statement that included his vow to prioritize Native American issues. This follows his track record in Montana. In his first term, he worked closely with Montana’s eight sovereign tribal nations to pass beneficial legislation, such as tax relief.

Categories: Native American Coaltion, Native American Issues, President-elect Donald J. Trump

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