Carole DePoe Lankford, vice chairman of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council, was one of a dozen tribal leaders to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House on Nov. 12.

President Obama greets Carole DePoe Lankford, vice chairman of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council, in November (Photo by Pete Souza/The White House).

President Obama greets Carole DePoe Lankford, vice chairman of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council, in November (Photo by Pete Souza/The White House).

CSKT’s newspaper, the Char Koosta, reports the 12 were invited to discuss government-to-government relationships between the federal government and Indian tribes.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell stated that a top priority has been restoring tribal land. The administration’s goal is to place more than 500,000 acres of land into trust by the end of President Obama’s term. Since 2009, nearly 230,000 acres have been accepted into trust, and 1,400 individual land-to-trust applications have been processed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Joining the president, Jewell and the tribal leaders were Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to the president; White House Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Munoz; Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling; and David Agnew, director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

The meeting coincided with the fifth White House Tribal Nations Conference.

- Vince Devlin

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