News Release

U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

Yesterday, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led a nomination hearing to consider President Biden’s nomination of Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Todd Newland, of Michigan, to serve as Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs (AS-IA) at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Mr. Newland, a graduate of the Indian Law program at Michigan State University College of Law, is a citizen of the Bay Mills Indian Community and most recently served his Tribe as its duly-elected President. He also served in the federal government as a presidentially appointed Counselor and Policy Advisor to the AS-IA under the Obama administration.

“As the [Interior] Department’s highest-ranking Senate-confirmed official in Indian Affairs, the Assistant Secretary is charged with maintaining the government-to-government relationship with sovereign Tribal Nations, respecting Tribal sovereignty, and promoting Tribal self-determination,” said Chairman Schatz. “This hearing is an important first step in carrying out the Senate’s constitutional duty to provide advice and consent [on] one of the most consequential nominations for Native communities across our nation.”

Schatz went on to explain why he supports Mr. Newland’s confirmation.

“I believe Mr. Newland has the necessary experience to hit the ground running, implement the President’s agenda, and execute Indian Country’s priorities,” said Chairman Schatz. “His sincerity and willingness to learn are key attributes to this position, and Mr. Newland has made clear that he is committed to serving as chief federal advocate for not just Tribal nations, but for the Native Hawaiian community as well.”

More than 30 tribes and tribal organizations, including the United South and Eastern Tribes, the National Congress of American Indians, and the Alaska Federation of Natives, submitted letters in support of Mr. Newland’s confirmation.

To view the full video of the hearing, click here.

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