WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today, with Committee Chairman, Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) convened the Committee’s first hearing for the 117th Congress. The hearing was “A call to action: Native communities’ priorities in focus for the 117th Congress” and included four native witnesses.
“The Committee takes seriously the priorities of native communities, which have guided legislation over the years. With strong and unified tribal voices laying out the needs of Indian Tribes, we have seen passage of major pieces of legislation,” said Vice Chairman Murkowski in her opening statement. “This Committee has always worked to address the needs of the extraordinary diversity of Tribes. I am looking forward to the Committee continuing to do so. Whether that is targeting pandemic relief or addressing structural barriers to economic recovery, there are varying needs that Native people are facing throughout the country.”
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“With today’s hearing, we have an opportunity to receive testimony from an Alaska Native leader and witness. Ms. Julie Kitka is President of the Alaska Federation of Natives,” said Vice Chairman Murkowski on inviting an Alaska Native witness to virtually testify before the Committee. “AFN is the largest statewide Native organization in Alaska and represents more than 140,000 Native peoples. Formed in 1966 to settle land claims, AFN continues to be the significant forum and voice of Alaska Natives in addressing critical issues of public policy and government.”