Native American Group Urges Secretary-designate to Protect Government-to-Government Relationship between Tribal Nations and Federal GovernmentNative American Financial Services Association
WASHINGTON, DC (February 8, 2013) – Following President Obama’s announcement earlier this week that he would nominate Sally Jewell, President and CEO of REI, to succeed retiring Secretary Ken Salazar at the helm of the Department of Interior, The Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) issued the following statement:
“With so many Department of the Interior bureaus and agencies impacting daily life on Native American reservations, Sally Jewell is an outstanding choice to succeed Secretary Salazar,” said Barry Brandon, Executive Director of NAFSA. “She understands the value of our precious wilderness and how important it is to protect our public lands. It is our hope that she will use her new post as Interior Secretary to continually strengthen the unique government-to-government relationship that our tribes share with the federal government. We applaud her nomination and look forward to working with her.”
The Department of the Interior (DOI) is accountable for the administration and preservation of most federal land and natural resources, as well as the management of programs relating to Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. Included within DOI is the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the oldest bureau in the Interior Department.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs provides services to approximately 1.9 million native peoples on reservations across the United States. Additionally, the bureau manages 55 million surface acres and 57 million acres of subsurface minerals held in trust by American Indians, Indian Tribes, and Alaska Natives. If confirmed by the Senate, Jewell will have immense jurisdiction around Native American life.
Jewell, a former oil company official and outdoor enthusiast, won the 2009 Rachel Carson award from the Audubon Society for work furthering environmental efforts. Jewell is vice chairwoman of the National Parks Conservation Association and additionally serves as a board member of the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust; a linked network of green spaces, and historic towns recreational opportunities in Washington State.
The Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) formed in 2012 to advocate for Native American sovereign rights and enable tribes to offer responsible online lending products. Through the protection of consumer rights and sovereign immunity, NAFSA provides vital services to tribally operated lenders serving the under-banked with better short term financial services, furthering economic development opportunities in Indian Country.