Dear Chairman Schatz and Vice Chairman Murkowski,
On behalf of 17 Tribal organizations, we enclose a letter expressing our unwavering support for the confirmation of Bryan Newland, a citizen of the Bay Mills Indian Community (Ojibwe), to be the next Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs (AS-IA).
Mr. Newland has spent his career fighting for Tribal rights, becoming a trusted voice in the field of federal Indian law. He would bring a wealth of experience to the role of Assistant Secretary, having served most recently as the President of the Bay Mills Indian Community, as well as Chief Judge of the Bay Mills Tribal court and counselor and Senior Advisor to a previous AS-IA. His background provides him with a unique perspective on matters of Tribal self-governance and the delivery of federal trust and treaty obligations. Our collective organizations celebrate this nomination as another opportunity to advance Tribal sovereignty and improve the relationship between the United States and Tribal Nations.
As a former Tribal Leader, Mr. Newland’s intimate understanding of both Tribal and federal service will be an asset to the Department of the Interior and its role in Nation-to-Nation diplomacy with Indian Country. He holds a full appreciation for our history and relationship with the United States, as well as an indigenous sensibility for the stewardship of our lands, environment, and cultural resources. We are confident that Mr. Newland’s service as AS-IA will bring significant progress in Tribal sovereignty, self-governance, and self-determination.
We call upon the United States Senate to act swiftly on his confirmation in accordance with its responsibility to honor its obligations to Tribal Nations.
For more information, please contact Liz Malerba, USET SPF Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, at email@example.com.