Congresswoman Norma Torres

Representing the 35th District of California
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Torres Hails First Ever Conference on Native Youth

July 9, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Norma J. Torres (D-Pomona) applauded the inaugural Tribal Youth Gathering, held at the White House in collaboration with United National Indian Tribal Youth and the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services.


“The young people who have come to DC for this historic event are the future of their tribes.  They are the ones entrusted with protecting their important heritage and creating the opportunities for their nations to thrive for generations to come,” said Torres.  “I applaud the White House for recognizing, through this conference and through the launch of the Generation Indigenous initiative, the need to support Native youth and help foster the next generation of tribal leaders.”


The conference brings together over 875 Native youth representing 230 tribes from 42 states to engage with the First Lady, Cabinet officials, the White House Council on Native American Affairs, and non-federal partners on important issues affective Native youth including cultural protection and preservation, health and education, economic opportunity, natural resources, and tribal justice.


“Earlier today, I introduced an amendment in the Natural Resources Committee protecting sacred tribal sites from development.  That such an amendment is still necessary only highlights the important work these young people have undertaken to preserve and protect their diverse cultures for future generations,” Torres continued.  “The struggle for tribal sovereignty is far from over, and it’s going to take the advocacy of these young leaders to ensure the federal government is held to the promises made to the 567 federally recognized tribes and Alaska Native Corporations.”


Torres is a member of the House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs.  The amendment offered today to H.R. 1937, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2015, exempts sacred and cultural sites from development and ensures that the affected tribes are not prevented from accessing such sites.  It was defeated 22 to 16.