President Donald Trump wants to unleash America’s domestic energy reserves and help Native Americans in the process.
He set that intention at a roundtable with Native American tribal leaders at the White House on Wednesday, June 28.
“Many of your lands have rich, natural resources that stand to benefit your people immensely. These untapped resources of wealth can help you build new schools, fix roads, improve your communities, and create jobs.
“All you want is the freedom to use them, and that’s been the problem. It’s been very difficult, hasn’t it? It will be a lot easier now under the Trump administration.”
It was Trump’s first public meeting with tribal leaders since his inauguration. Trump met with tribal leaders in December to hear requests on what they wanted from his administration.
Trump later upset some Native Americans by signing an executive order in January to advance the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would cross through Native American land.
On Wednesday the President focused on what his administration would do to help them reclaim control over resources on their territories.
“For too long the federal government has put up restrictions and regulations that put this energy wealth out of reach,” he said.
“It’s been really restricted, the development itself has been restricted, and vast amounts of deposits of coal and other resources have, in a way, been taken out of your hands. And we’re going to have that changed. We’re going to put it back in your hands.”
During his remarks, the president said it wasn’t enough to be energy free, perhaps referring to energy independence. Instead, the president said he wanted the United States to be “energy dominant.”
Trump said he was confident that working together they could usher in “a golden age of American energy dominance.”
The financial and security benefits of that success, he said, would benefit the entire country, including Native Americans.
Matthew Little for NTD