Dear USET/USET SPF Family,
On Saturday, August 7th, the U.S. Senate confirmed Bryan Newland, a citizen of the Bay Mills Indian Community (Ojibwe), to be the Biden Administration's Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs (AS-IA) by voice vote. USET SPF strongly supported AS-IA Newland's nomination, leading a letter to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs joined by 16 partner organizations.
AS-IA Newland has spent his career fighting for Tribal rights, becoming a trusted voice in the field of federal Indian law. He will 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.
AS-IA 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 AS-IA Newland’s service in this role will bring significant progress in Tribal sovereignty, self-governance, and self-determination.
Additionally, we are pleased to report that Ms. Janie Hipp was also recently confirmed by voice vote to serve as General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). As a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, Janie represents America's first farmers. And as a world-renowned food and agriculture legal mind with more than 35 years of experience, Janie’s legal experience and expertise in food and agriculture law is unparalleled. In May, USET SPF joined a letter led by the Intertribal Agriculture Council and signed by 177 Tribal Nations, individuals, and Tribal & partner organizations supporting her nomination.
“The Nation-to-Nation relationship between Tribal Nations and the United States is best served when our voices are represented at the highest levels of government,” said USET SPF President, Chief Kirk Francis. “As Native people who have dedicated their careers to achieving justice for Indian Country, Assistant Secretary Newland and Ms. Hipp carry lived experience and ancestral knowledge into these roles. USET SPF celebrates their respective confirmations and looks forward to working together to protect and advance Tribal sovereignty, self-governance, and the trust obligation.”
For more information, please contact Liz Malerba, USET SPF Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, at email@example.com.