Indianz.Com > News > Secretary Yellen Delivers Remarks on First Visit to Indian Country
Remarks by Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen during a visit to the Rosebud Indian Reservation
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
The following remarks are prepared for delivery by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during a visit to the Rosebud Reserve, home of the Rosebud Sioux Tribein South Dakota on June 21, 2022. Text courtesy of the Treasury Department.
Thank you very much for this presentation. And president [Scott] Herman, thank you for your generosity and hospitality. It’s great to be here. This is my first visit to Indian Country, and it is important to me to see first hand the beauty of the Rosebud Reservation and to hear about the rich heritage of your tribe. It has also been enlightening to listen to you discuss the profound challenges facing you and tribal nations across the country, and to hear your thoughts on how we can partner to accelerate economic recovery for all tribal citizens. I’ve spent my entire career thinking about economic policy and how it can help people through tough times and create longer-term opportunity. I see many things politicians can do to support tribal communities. Tribes are the backbone of local communities, and tribal governments are often the largest employer of their citizens and residents in surrounding areas. Simply put, reservations can be centers of economic opportunity for millions of tribal and non-tribal people and deserve significant investment from the federal government and our private sector partners. Yet, despite efforts by tribal governments to develop their economies, significant inequalities exist. Many have their roots in earlier federal politics. According to the US Civil Rights Commission’s Broken Promises Report, more than 25% of Native Americans live in poverty. In some tribes, more than half of their citizens live in poverty. For Native Americans living on reservations, the unemployment rate is around 50%. These numbers are unacceptably high.