Native News Network Staff in Native Briefs. Discussion »
WASHINGTON US Department of Agriculture Rural Development wants to take a moment to remind their diverse customer base that even in tough budgetary times they're doing all we can to roll out the welcome mat, in front of their many open doors, ensuring that USDA remains "The Peoples Department."
The USDA has found webinars and teleconferences are effective tools for its Agencies and staff to build a foundation for consultation, cooperation and mutual understanding with Federally Recognized Tribes.
Over the last few months, Rural Development co-hosted an Indian Housing Webinar Discussion Series with the National American Indian Housing Council.
The goals of that series were clear and simple:
The final webinar was hosted on November 7th and in preparation for the National American Indian Housing Council's Legal Symposium in December. The USDA is putting together a joint white paper on the Webinar Series and recommendations to consider moving forward.
Concurrently, on October 17th USDA Rural Development launched an ongoing, quarterly, Tribal Consultation Webinar and Teleconference process.
The USDA's idea is to offer a regular, predictable venue to consult Tribes on a broad range of program and policy issues over time. USDA Rural Development's Acting Deputy Undersecretary Judith Canales hosted the first event as Rural Development's consulting official and Tribes and tribal organizations from around the country participated in and offered their ideas, comments and suggestions in a robust and open dialogue.
Each future Tribal Consultation Webinar and Teleconference will be preceded by a pre-consultation briefing, one month prior to the consultation event, to provide background materials and information regarding the topics to be covered. The schedule for 2013 includes consultation Webinars and Teleconferences on January 16th, April 17th, July 17th and October 9th all at 3:00 pm eastern time.
More information on the USDA Rural Development Tribal Consultation Webinar and Teleconference process is available here.
USDA Rural Development does not offer these virtual communication strategies in a vacuum. They continue to encourage Tribes to meet with USDA in their own offices, in USDA Rural Development State and Local offices and in Washington DC.
posted November 13, 2012 6:50 am edt