Press Releases

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Cortez Masto, Murkowski Introduce End Trafficking of Native Americans Act

U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), members of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today introduced the End Trafficking of Native Americans Act of 2018. This bill addresses some of the gaps between tribal communities and the federal government in combatting human trafficking of Native Americans and Alaska Natives. It would establish an advisory committee on human trafficking comprised of law enforcement, tribal leaders, and service providers to make r… Continue Reading


Murray, Murkowski, Jayapal Announce Bipartisan, Bicameral Reintroduction of Legislation to Bolster Critical Care for Survivors of Sexual Assault

Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), member of the HELP Committee, and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA7), announced a bipartisan, bicameral reintroduction of the Survivors' Access to Supportive Care Act (SASCA), legislation that would provide guidance and support to states and hospitals providing sexual assault examination services and treatment to survivors. Senator Murray, Se… Continue Reading


Alaskans Provide Testimony During Senate Subsistence Hearing

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs this week held an oversight hearing to focus on promoting traditional subsistence in Native communities through testimonies from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Indian tribes regarding tribal subsistence activities and federal regulatory structures or circumstances which impede these activities. During the hearing U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), a member of the committee, introduced Alaskan Mary Sattler Peltola, Executive Director of the Kuskokwim In… Continue Reading


Senator Murkowski Chairs Hearing On Indian Health Service Budget

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) chaired an Interior Appropriations Subcommittee hearing recently, examining the Fiscal Year 2019 budget request for the Indian Health Service (IHS). During the hearing, Senator Murkowski addressed budget priorities from opioid funding and the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to maintenance backlogs and the need for staffing quarters for healthcare professionals. The hearing featured Indian Health Service Acting Director Rear Admiral Michael Weahkee, Rear A… Continue Reading


Alaska Delegation Pleased to Announce Denali Commission Interim Co-Chair

The Alaska Congressional Delegation today announced that John Torgerson of Soldotna has been appointed as the Denali Commission Interim Federal Co-Chair. This appointment comes following a letter the delegation sent last week to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, requesting an interim federal co-chair as the administration moves through the process of vetting candidates to fill the vacancy left by Joel Neimeyer on April 20, 2018. "The Denali Commission plays a crucial role in the lives of Alaskans… Continue Reading


Alaska Delegation Bill Works to Protect Alaska Native Whaling Quota

The Alaska Congressional Delegation recently introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to authorize the Secretary of Commerce to preserve the bowhead whale subsistence harvest and Alaska Native food security under U.S. law if the International Whaling Commission (IWC) fails to act on bowhead whale quota during their September 2018 meeting in Florianopolis, Brazil. The legislation - the Whaling Convention Amendments Act of 2018 - is led by Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Chairman of the Oceans, A… Continue Reading


Senators Murkowski and Udall Introduce Legislation Honoring Native Women

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced a resolution recognizing the heritage, culture, and contributions of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian women in the United States. This legislation recognizes the importance of promoting equity, providing safety, and upholding the interests of strong, diverse women in this country. "Thirty years ago, Congress passed legislation declaring March as Women's History Month in the United States. But I feel it is nec… Continue Reading


Online Sex Trafficking Prevention Bill Passes Senate

Today U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski voted in favor of the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, which passed by a vote of 97-2. The bill gives power back to prosecutors, victims, and state attorneys by giving a clearer path to pursue legal action against website providers who are posting advertisements for sex workers, many of whom are actively caught up in sex trafficking. Senator Murkowski is an original co-sponsor of the Senate's online trafficking prevention bill, Stop … Continue Reading


Murkowski on Ending the Opioid Crisis in Rural Alaska

Today the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, of which U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski is a member, focused on understanding the extent of the impacts of the opioid epidemic in Native American and Alaska Native communities and steps to make a difference. Witnesses testifying ranged from Tribal leaders to health professionals in the Indian Health Service and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as a representative from the U.S. Department of Justice. "Alaska may be a rural state, b… Continue Reading


Delegation Hails Landmark Agreement for Life-Saving Road

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Rep. Don Young, all R-Alaska, today released the following statements after the Department of the Interior and the King Cove Corp. signed an agreement authorizing a small land exchange needed to construct a short, gravel, life-saving road that will connect King Cove, Alaska to the all-weather airport in nearby Cold Bay. "Common sense and compassion have finally prevailed," Murkowski said. "For decades, the people of King Cove have asked for what virt… Continue Reading


Murkowski Bill to Improve Southeast Rural Health Passes Senate

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski praised the Senate's passage of her legislation, the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Land Transfer Act of 2017, which provides a land transfer of 19.07 acres in Sitka. S. 825, co-sponsored by Senator Sullivan, allows for much needed expansions by Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) at the Mt. Edgecumbe Sitka Campus. These extensions would enhance the level of healthcare services available to Southeast Alaska by providing a future site for… Continue Reading


Alaska Delegation Praises Passage of Tribal Employment and Training Legislation

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young released the following statements praising the unanimous Senate passage of H.R. 228, legislation to strengthen and reform a comprehensive Native employment and training program commonly known as the "477 Program." The legislation, championed by a united Alaska delegation, marks Young's second to reach the President's desk during the 115th Congress. "The 477 Program has proven to be an innovative and effective tool in providin… Continue Reading


AK Delegation Congratulates Tara Sweeney on Nomination for Key Role in Administration

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young, all R-Alaska, today released the following statement after President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Tara Sweeney to be Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs within the U.S. Department of the Interior. "I extend my congratulations and full support to Tara on her nomination to serve as Assistant Secretary," said Murkowski. "Tara has a very strong record of professionalism and accomplishment in Alaska, across the co… Continue Reading


Alaska Receives Two Native Language Education Grants

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) yesterday welcomed the announcement that Anchorage School District and Yukon-Koyukuk School District have been awarded two out of the five first-ever Native American Language program grants, funded by a program created by Senators Murkowski and Franken (D-MN) as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The newly developed, "Native American and Alaska Native Language Immersion Schools and Program," is intended to help schools, tribes, and Native organizati… Continue Reading


Murkowski on Human Trafficking of American Indian and Alaska Natives

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) joined her colleagues on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to attend an Oversight Hearing on "The GAO Reports on Human Trafficking of American Indian and Alaska Natives in the United States". The hearing focused on the impacts of human trafficking of American Indians and Alaska Natives, what we can do as a nation to prevent human trafficking and combat this issue in all its forms, and how to better provide support for victims. During her opening statemen… Continue Reading


Murkowski Demands Answers on Indian Health Service's Proposed Budget Cuts

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) chaired an Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the Indian Health Service's (IHS) budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018. Senator Murkowski raised concerns with Rear Admiral Michael Weahkee, the new Acting Director for the Indian Health Service, over the administration's budget request containing a decrease of $300 million from last year's enacted levels. "There is anger, there is frustration and rightly so because a… Continue Reading


Murkowski Discusses Health Awareness and Prevention Efforts for Native Youth

Today U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) joined her colleagues on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to address risk factors for diabetes and identify ways to promote healthy choices for Native youth. The hearing evaluated the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI), which is currently up for reauthorization, and is of particular importance to Alaska given the state's diabetes epidemic, particularly amongst Alaska Natives. Murkowski welcomed Martin Sensmeier from Yakutat, an actor in the… Continue Reading


Heitkamp, Murkowski, McCollum, Cole Urge President and Key Administration Leaders to Prioritize Commission on Native Children, Appoint Members

U.S. Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) as well as Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) today reinforced the need to comprehensively tackle challenges facing Native American children by urging the president and key members of his administration to quickly appoint the members needed to their Commission on Native Children so it can begin its important work. The bill creating the Commission - which Heitkamp, Murkowski, McCollum, and Cole introdu… Continue Reading


Murkowski Lays Out Alaska Native Priorities to Interior Secretary Zinke

The newly confirmed Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, testified for the first time in front of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee this week at a hearing on "Identifying Indian Affairs priorities for the Trump Administration." U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), a member of the Committee, took the opportunity to highlight areas where the new administration can work with Alaska for the benefit of Alaska Natives and American Indians, including the development of Tribal Courts in Alaska, honoring tru… Continue Reading


Two Murkowski Bills Pass Senate Indian Affairs Committee

Today the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs passed two pieces of legislation sponsored by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). S.91, the Indian Employment, Training and Related Services Consolidation Act of 2017, which strengthens and reforms Public Law 102-477 (referred to as "477"), a comprehensive Native employment and training program. S.269 transfers property to both the Tanana Tribal Council and Bristol Bay Area Health to be used in connection with health and social services programs. "I … Continue Reading

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