SOURCE: Barona Band of Mission Indians

Barona Band of Mission Indians

November 05, 2009 13:20 ET

Barona Band of Mission Indians Chairman to Attend Tribal Summit With President Barack Obama

Tribes Hopeful That Conference Will Result in Positive Changes Locally and Nationwide

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - November 5, 2009) - The White House Tribal Nations Summit will take place on November 5 in Washington, D.C. for the first time in over 15 years. Edwin "Thorpe" Romero, chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians, will represent the Barona Tribe along with leaders from more than 400 of the nation's federally recognized tribes. President Barack Obama is scheduled to present the opening and closing remarks and participate in discussions about critical issues facing Native American tribes in San Diego and across the country.

According to Chairman Romero, tribal leaders have hopeful expectations for the summit as it provides an opportunity to address a number of topics directly with President Obama and high ranking administration officials. Discussions will include economic development, natural resources, public safety, housing, education, health and labor.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said that the event will be the largest of its kind in U.S. history.

"As the leader of a tribal nation, it is good to see that President Obama is reaching out to all tribal leaders to strengthen the nation-to-nation relationships," said Chairman Romero. "Too many times Indian Country has been overlooked by the federal government and I feel this summit is a step in the right direction to begin rebuilding our trust."

President Obama has earned the respect of many tribes as he has recently appointed Native Americans to key administrative posts in order to improve communication and relationships between federal agencies and tribes.

Romero continued, "It is promising that Native Americans have been appointed to high-ranking positions that will allow our voice to be heard by President Obama. I am hopeful that our common issues, such as health care and education, will soon become a priority."

The Barona Band of Mission Indians, recognized by the United States government as a sovereign nation, has lived on the Barona Indian Reservation in rural eastern San Diego County since 1932. Prior to that, the Tribe lived on the Capitan Grande Reservation, established in 1875 by the federal government. Long before, the Tribe traveled across Southern California in tune with the seasons and what nature provided. Today, the sovereign government is serving its Tribal members, their families, and sharing with the San Diego region. For more information, visit

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