By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
The Indian and Alaska Native Affairs subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee is slated to have four Democrats and six Republicans according to committee assignments announced by both parties on Monday, Jan. 24.
Rep. Don Young (R-AK) will chair the subcommittee which will also include ex-oficio members Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, and Re. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass), the ranking democrat on the committee.
“From our Alaska Natives to our vast natural resources, Alaska is affected by the actions of the Natural Resources Committee more than any other state in the nation,” said Rep. Young.
Other members of the subcommittee include: Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla), Rep. Dale E. Kildee (D-MI), Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), Rep. Daniel Benishek (R-MI), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), and Rep. Kristi Lynn Noem (R-SD).
“Eastern Oklahoma has one of the largest concentrations of Native Americans of any Congressional district in the nation,” said Rep. Boren, “and the federal government’s oversight of Indian Affairs has an immediate impact on tens of thousands of my constituents and many millions more throughout the United States.”
Bill Anoatubby, Chickasaw Nation Governor, was especially pleased with Rep. Boren’s selection. “Dan Boren understands the importance of positive government-to-government relationships between the federal government and Indian nations. He also appreciates the vital role effective communication plays in developing policies in the best interests of everyone involved.”
The subcommittee handles many issues and agencies involving Indian Country including: treaty rights, land and water claims, recognition issues, land in trust issues, as well as the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians.
Rep. Markey commented, “We have a deep bench here on the Natural Resources Committee, and we will need the leadership and energy of every single member to promote sound policies to preserve and promote America’s natural heritage and resources.”
On the Republican side, Chairman Hastings said, “The Natural Resources Committee has broad jurisdiction that allows our members to use their individual talents and expertise to work on policies and issues that will help create jobs, grow the economy, and reduce wasteful government spending.”