For Immediate Release
May 12, 2021
Manu Tupper or Mike Inacay (Schatz) at email@example.com
SCHATZ LEADS INDIAN AFFAIRS OVERSIGHT HEARING TO EXAMINE COVID-19 IMPACT ON NATIVE TOURISM ECONOMIES
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led an oversight hearing, “Examining the COVID-19 Response in Native Communities: Native Tourism Economies One Year Later.” The committee heard from the Department of Commerce’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Economic Development Dennis Alvord, the Department of the Interior – Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Indian Economic Development Acting Director Anthony Rodman, Hawai’i Tourism Authority President and CEO John De Fries, American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association CEO Sherry Rupert, and Huna Totem Corporation President and CEO Russell Dick.
In his opening statement, Schatz underscored the importance of federal resources like the NATIVE Act in supporting Native communities’ tourism economies as they recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
“Native communities across the country have diversified their economies with domestic and international tourism to create jobs for community members, boost Tribal government revenue, and improve living conditions,” said Chairman Schatz. “But many Native communities need particular resources to reboot, revitalize, and expand their tourism economies. The Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience Act, or NATIVE Act, would help Native communities do just that. Enacted in 2016, the NATIVE Act empowers Native communities to shape their own tourism economies and provide unique, sustainable cultural tourism opportunities in the United States. Successful implementation of the NATIVE Act can help drive economic recovery in all Native communities.”
To view the full video of the hearing, click here.