Schatz, Murkowski Lead Oversight Hearing On Native Communities’ Priorities

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), vice chairman of the Committee, led an oversight hearing titled, “Oversight Hearing on Native Communities’ Priorities for the 118th Congress.”

 “Because we can only do our best work when we hear directly from the Native communities that we serve, today we kick off the 118th Congress by putting Native communities’ priorities directly in the spotlight as our first order of business,” said Chairman Schatz.

 “In order to advance tribal priorities, we have to understand both the overarching needs of Native communities but also how to address the unique needs across regions. Tribes across the country have different sizes, land bases, and service delivery models. Today’s hearing gives us an opportunity to learn directly from Native organizations on what this Committee should prioritize as we begin our work in the 118th Congress,” said Vice Chairman Murkowski. “Two years ago, we started off the Congress in much the same way in this Committee—examining the priorities of Native communities. I am proud to say we made incredible progress together in the last Congress. I look forward to advancing other urgent needs that I know remain.”

 The following witnesses participated in the oversight hearing:

  • The Honorable Shannon Holsey, Treasurer, National Congress of American Indians, Washington, DC
  • The Honorable Thomas Lozano, Chairman, Board of Directors, National American Indian Housing Council, Oroville, CA
  • The Honorable Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey, Chair, Board of Trustees, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Honolulu, HI
  • Ms. Nicole Borromeo, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Alaska Federation of Natives, Anchorage, AK
  • Ms. Kari Jo Lawrence, Executive Director, Intertribal Agriculture Council, Billings, MT
  • Mr. Rico Frias, Executive Director, Native American Financial Officers Association, Washington, DC
  • Ms. Tesia Zientek, President, Board of Directors, National Indian Education Association, Washington, DC

 The full video of today’s organizing meeting is available here.