WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Indian Affairs Committee today confirmed Senator Murkowski as its 11th Vice Chairman. Earlier this week Senate Republicans elected her to serve as the Committee’s top Republican. “I am honored and humbled by my selection as the 11th Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, the first woman, as well as the first Alaskan to serve in that role,” said Senator Murkowski. “I look forward to working with the rest of the Committee on issues important to American Indians and Alaska Natives.” Senator Murkowski replaces the late-Senator Craig Thomas who passed away in June. “Senator Thomas has left big shoes to fill,” said Senator Murkowski. “I will do all I can to faithfully carry on his work.” The Senate Indian Affairs Committee has jurisdiction to study the unique problems of American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native peoples and to propose legislation to alleviate these difficulties. These issues include, but are not limited to, Indian education, economic development, land management, trust responsibilities, health care, and claims against the United States. Additionally, all legislation proposed by Members of the Senate that specifically pertains to American Indians, Native Hawaiians, or Alaska Natives is under the jurisdiction of the Committee.