The White House recently hosted its fifth Tribal Nations Conference in Washington D.C. This was the first time that Darwin St. Clair, Chairman of the Eastern Shoshone Business Council, attended the conference. He says it “felt like we were actually making progress. It may not have been big steps, but we’re making steps forward.”
St. Clair said a highlight of the trip was a consultation he had with administrators from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior.
“A lot of times when you go to DC you talk to staffers or you’ll talk to other individuals who then relay your message to the higher-ups,” he said. “And for us to have that opportunity to have a face to face and see the administrator McCarthy face to face was a great opportunity.”
St. Clair says environmental and energy issues were some of his biggest talking points. The tribe has worked to take over the solid waste program on the reservation and is looking to take on more environmental monitoring duties. He says he hopes to keep talking to the EPA about assistance with technical and administrative skills and training for the tribe.