Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the signing of a historic Memorandum of Understanding with his Canadian counterpart, the Honorable Chuck Strahl, Minister of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, to improve the quality of life of Indigenous peoples in each country through increased cooperation and information-sharing.
"I am honored to join my colleagues in Canada to sign this historic agreement today," said Secretary Salazar. "Our strengthened collaboration will help to improve the quality of life for American Indians and Alaska Natives and Indigenous people throughout the United States and Canada."
"Both Canada and the U.S. have a shared history when it comes to Aboriginal and northern issues," said Minister Strahl, "and we have a lot to learn from each other. Sharing our common experiences and learning from the best practices in each of our countries can only strengthen our relationships with Aboriginal communities."
The MOU is designed to establish a framework and joint action plan for future co-operative activities between INAC and the Department of the Interior. The MOU recognizes the great diversity of Indigenous peoples in each country including, their different languages, political structures, customs and beliefs, as well as the physical locations of their communities from urban, rural and remote settings.
The Obama administration is committed to improving education, economic development, law enforcement and consultation with tribal nations. Many of the Administration's priorities correspond directly with similar priorities identified by the Government of Canada.