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SCHATZ LEADS FIRST INDIAN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE HEARING OF 117th CONGRESS

Oversight Hearing Elevated Native Communities’ Priorities

 

February 24, 2021

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led an oversight hearing entitled “A call to action: Native communities’ priorities in focus for the 117th Congress.”  The committee heard from the National Congress of American Indians President Fawn Sharp, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians President Leonard Forsman, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey, and Alaska Federation of Natives President and CEO Julie Kitka.

 

During his opening statement, Schatz explained his intent behind putting Native communities’ priorities directly in the spotlight as the committee’s first order of business:

 

“I want to be clear that today’s hearing isn’t a ‘check-the-box’ exercise.  It’s a real opportunity for this Committee to chart a path forward, by listening to and learning from Native leaders, for the next two years and beyond,” said Chairman Schatz.  “Now more than ever, Congress must be tuned in.  Native communities are experiencing disproportionate impacts from multiple crises: COVID-19, economic insecurity, racial injustice, and climate change.  So as the strongest voice for Native priorities in Congress, this committee will act to address these challenges by working together in our famed bipartisan tradition and to uphold the federal treaty and trust responsibilities to Tribes and Native communities across the country – from Hawai’i to Alaska, to the continental U.S.”

 

The hearing record will remain open to receive written testimony on today’s hearing.  Tribal leaders and organizations are encouraged to send submissions to: testimony@indian.senate.gov

 

To view the full video of the hearing, click here.

 

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