Late September 21, the Senate confirmed Kevin K. Washburn, a member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, to serve as the next Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior according to an Interior press release.
The Senate approved the appointment that President Barack Obama announced in August by unanimous consent.
“As we continue to strengthen the integrity of the nation’s government-to-government relationship with federally-recognized Indian tribes and empower Native American and Alaska Native communities, Kevin Washburn will be an outstanding addition to our leadership team and a vital asset for President Obama’s initiatives in Indian country,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in the release. “Kevin’s professional and academic achievements and his thorough knowledge of the critical issues facing the Nation’s First Americans will help us to fulfill the President’s commitment to empower tribal governments and advance their economic and social goals.”
Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said he is "pleased that the Senate acted so quickly to confirm the nomination of Kevin Washburn. We look forward to Assistant Secretary Washburn providing dynamic leadership at the [Bureau of Indian Affairs]. We believe his knowledge and understanding of Indian law and policy will help enable tribes and the federal government to develop an even more effective working relationship."