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 an a legislative hearing to receive testimony on S.1797, the Urban Indian Health Providers Facilities Improvement Act, S.1895, the Indian Health Service Sanitation Facilities Construction Enhancement Act, and H.R.1688, the Native American Child Protection Act. The committee heard from the Indian Health Service’s Deputy Director for Management and Operations Randy Grinnell, Department of the Interior’s Office of the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Senior Advisor Heidi Todacheene, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, National Indian Child Welfare Association President Gil Vigil, and National Council of Urban Indian Health Vice President Robyn Sunday-Allen.

Schatz opened the hearing by noting how the bills help address unmet needs in Native programs.

“The federal government has a special trust responsibility to ensure the general welfare of Native communities, and that includes providing adequate health care to Native peoples, supplying Tribal communities with clean, safe drinking water, and protecting Native children,” said Chairman Schatz. “But for too long, Congress underfunded Native-serving programs and ignored Native needs on the ground. The bills before this committee today work towards righting these past injustices.”

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

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