Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) were both elected unanimously as Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively, of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs for the 117th Congress.

Schatz emphasized his intent to continue the committee’s bipartisan tradition in addressing issues important to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians:

“This Committee is unlike any other.  On a bipartisan basis, it has always committed itself to the solidarity of Native people in Indian Country, in Alaska, and in Hawaii,” said Chairman Schatz.  “Through languages, cultures, and knowledge systems, Native communities across the country have contributed in so many ways to our shared American history.  Today, our federal trust responsibility to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians remains true, and should be the guiding light in our service on this Committee.”

“I am honored to again serve as Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs for the 117th Congress,” said Vice Chairman Murkowski. “Being a long-time member of the Committee, I will continue to support tribal communities by promoting economic recovery through job creation and workforce development; increasing public safety and law enforcement; enhancing health care access; addressing overcrowding and housing issues; and developing better infrastructure and broadband capabilities for Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and American Indians. The Committee has a rich history of considering legislation in a bipartisan manner and I look forward to working with Chairman Schatz and the rest of the members this Congress to pass bills that help Native Americans.”

The Committee also adopted its rules for the 117th Congress and its funding resolution for operations.  The rules, as adopted, are available here.

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

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