FEMA hosts conference at Choctaw Headquarters
DURANT, Okla. (KTEN) - For the first time ever, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Advisory Council hosted a conference in Indian Country.
Several tribal nations attended the conference that runs from October 25th to 27th. The group discussing several topics.
"The N.A.C. members, they come up with the topics that they want to discuss and learn more about, so they can make better recommendations to me on how I can continue to advance our agency," Deanne Criswell said.
There are 574 federally recognized tribes in the United States. Kelbie Kennedy serves as the agency's National Tribal Affair Advocate. Kennedy is FEMA's first tribal political appointee.
"Each of their needs and capacity in the area of emergency management and quite frankly public safety in any kind of field is different and distinct," Kennedy said. "No less needs support from the federal government so we live up to our treaty and trust responsibility to tribal nations."
Tribal related issues were largely discussed including how disaster assistance from the federal government to tribes should work.
"Finding ways to reduce the bureaucracy, to build capacity within the tribes so the tribes can be assets," Jeff Hansen, Choctaw Nation's director of community protection said.