First Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Hearing With Sally Jewell Set

Source: Indian Country Today Media Network

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will make her first appearance in front of the Indian Affairs Committee on Wednesday, May 15 when Chairwoman Maria Cantwell (D-WA) will hold a U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs oversight hearing.

The hearing, entitled “To Receive the Views and Priorities of Interior Secretary Jewell with Regard to Matters of Indian Affairs” will examine Jewell’s perspective on the challenges currently facing Indian country according to a Senate Committee on Indian Affairs press release.

The hearing comes one month after Jewell was sworn in as the head of the Department of the Interior – “the principal agency charged with upholding the federal government’s trust obligations to American Indian tribes.” (Related story: Senators Confirm Sally Jewell to Lead Interior; Predict She Will be Good for Indian Country)

In her new role, it is her responsibility to coordinate the government-to-government relationship that exists between the U.S and American Indian Tribes.

When Jewell was confirmed in April Indian Country Today Media Network reported that she had supporters in Indian country, a few of them are Billy Frank, a Native American environmental advocate; Fawn Sharp, and Chris Stearns.

As Secretary of the Interior, Jewell coordinates the government-to-government relationship that exists between the U.S. and American Indian Tribes. Within that relationship, the Department of the Interior is responsible for providing safety, education, general welfare, and natural resource services to Indian communities, while also promoting Tribal self-governance and self-determination.

The hearing will be available online at



Murkowski to lead GOP outreach to Native Americans

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska’s senior U.S. senator has been picked to lead the National Republican Senatorial Committee‘s “Native American Program.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, in a release, said she was proud to take on leadership of the new initiative. It is aimed at improving communications between Senate Republicans and Native American voters.

NRSC Chairman Jerry Moran said in a release that he’s “thrilled” to have Murkowski involved.

Murkowski serves on the Senate Indian Affairs committee, and received strong support during her 2010 re-election campaign from Alaska Natives.

The NRSC backed Murkowski in the 2010 GOP primary, which she lost to Joe Miller. It then backed Miller as Murkowski mounted a write-in campaign to keep her job.