April 30, 2021

Vice Chairman Murkowski Examines Native Education Systems During Indian Affairs Committee Hearing

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, provided the following remarks during an oversight hearing on “Examining the COVID-19 Response in Native Communities: Native Education Systems One Year Later.”


Pictured: Senator Murkowski during oversight hearing on April 28, 2021


“Education is one of the greatest tools we have to create opportunities and achieve success. That is why so many communities place great importance on access to high quality, culturally relevant education that prepares young people to reach their highest potential and to meaningfully contribute to their communities. In this regard, Indian Country is no different,” said Vice Chairman Murkowski. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created real uncertainty for our country. And our education system has certainly not escaped the impacts. Many tribes and states have had to develop and implement safety protocols to ensure that our young people continue their education while navigating the COVID new normal.”


The hearing included testimony from:


Ms. Melissa Emrey-Arras, Director, Education-Workforce-Income Security Issues, Government Accountability Office, Washington, DC
Mr. Tony Dearman, Director, Bureau of Indian Education, Washington, DC
Mr. Lance West, Principal, Schurz Elementary, Schurz, NV & Vice Chairman, BIE Pyramid Lake School Board, Pyramid Lake, NV
Dr. Kauanoe Kamana, Principal, Ke Kula ‘O Nāwahīokalani‘ōpu‘u Demonstration Laboratory School, Keaau, HI
Dr. Michelle Thomas, Superintendent, Belcourt School District, Belcourt, ND


Video and witness testimony from the oversight hearing are available here.