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17 Former Native American Obama Administration Officials Send President DAPL Message


November 29, 2016
By Levi Rickert
Native News Online

WASHINGTON – Seventeen Native Americans from different tribal backgrounds and who served at various capacities within the Obama administration have called on President Barack Obama to take immediate action to block or reroute the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The collective group sent President Obama yesterday to ask him to stand up for Standing Rock.

“America has just completed a contentious presidential election; and, soon, President-elect Donald Trump will be responsible to uphold the sacred trust relationship between the United States and Indian tribes. But, that moral and legal responsibility still rests with your Administration,” says part of the letter.

The following individuals, who were part of the Obama administration signed the letter:  Kim Teehee (Cherokee), former White House Senior Policy Advisor; Charles Galbraith (Navajo), former Associate Director of White House on Native American Affairs Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement; Raina Thiele (Dena’ina Athabascan & Yup’ik), former Associate Director of White House on Native American Affairs Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement; Donald “Del” Laverdure (Crow Nation), former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior – Indian Affairs; Lillian A. Sparks (Rosebud Sioux Tribe/Oglala Sioux Tribe), former Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans; Pilar Thomas (Pascua Yaqui Tribe), former Deputy Solicitor of the Interior; Janie Simms Hipp (Chickasaw Nation), former Senior Advisor for Tribal Relations to the Secretary of Agriculture; Paul Tsosie (Navajo Nation), former Chief of Staff to the Assistant to the  Secretary of the Interior – Indian Affairs; Wizipan Little Elk (Rosebud Sioux Tribe), former Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant to the  Secretary of the Interior – Indian Affairs; Sarah Harris (Mohegan Tribe), former Chief of Staff to the Assistant Assistant Secretary of the Interior – Indian Affairs; Nicole Willis (Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation), former Special Assistant for Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor; Bryan Newland (Bay Mills Indian Community – Ojibwe), former Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant to the  Secretary of the Interior – Indian Affairs; Rodina Cave (Quechua), former Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant to the  Secretary of the Interior – Indian Affairs; Elizabeth Hensley (Inupiaq), former Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant to the  Secretary of the Interior – Indian Affairs; Burton Warrington (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation/Menominee Indian Tribe), former Counselor to the Assistant to the  Secretary of the Interior – Indian Affairs; Michalyn Steele (Seneca Nation), former Counselor to the Assistant to the  Secretary of the Interior – Indian Affairs; and Dion Killsback (Northern Cheyenne), former Counselor to the Assistant Secretary of the Interior – Indian Affairs.

Click to view letter

About The Author

Levi Rickert, a tribal citizen of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, is the publisher and editor of Native News Online. Previously, he served as editor of the Native News Network. He is a resident of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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