White House hosts tribes for listening sessions

Dozens of tribal leaders are in Washington, D.C., today for listening sessions at the White House.

The meetings are billed as a way for tribes to talk to White House officials about the consultation process. They are the first such sessions of the Obama administration.

"The purpose of the sessions is to bring together tribal leaders and White House officials to engage in an informal dialogue on the process of tribal consultation," Kim Teehee of the White House Domestic Policy Council wrote in a letter to tribes.

Derek Bailey, the chairman of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, is attending one of the sessions, according to his Twitter. He met with President Barack Obama in Michigan last month.

"Just seated in room with other Tribal Leaders," Bailey wrote in an update to his Twitter. "Mtg begins at 1:30. Saw Chairmans from Gun Lake and Keeweenau tribes leaving AM session."

The Gun Lake Tribe and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community are also from Michigan.

In another update, Bailey said the meeting is taking place in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House grounds. He posted the above photo.

Jodi Gillette (Standing Rock Sioux) and Kim Teehee (Cherokee) from the White House, along with Indian Health Service Director Yvette Roubideaux (Rosebud Sioux) and Del Laverdure (Crow) of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, are taking part in the session, Bailey said.

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