NCAI Statement on the Nomination of Sally Jewell to Serve as U.S. Secretary of the Interior

Published on Feb 06, 2013

Washington, DC – Today President Obama announced his selection for the next Secretary of the Department of the Interior, nominating Sally Jewell, CEO of the outdoor company REI.  The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) released the following statement regarding the Obama Administration’s swift action to nominate a successor for Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar:

“NCAI welcomes the news that the Obama Administration has moved quickly to nominate an innovative leader to continue the momentum of the Department of the Interior achieved under Secretary Salazar. Sally Jewell’s diverse experience in energy, conservation, and stewardship efforts, presents an exciting opportunity for the country and tribal nations to make great strides and continue the transformation of the Department of the Interior under this President.

As a key partner in advancing the trust relationship between the United States and tribal nations, the Secretary of the Interior is a critical component in carrying forward this trust and fulfilling the promise of a new era in U.S. - tribal relations. Over the last four years, this trust relationship has a new focus from all corners of government.

Ms. Jewell’s career indicates that, like other leaders in the Northwest, her efforts have often intersected with and supported the timeless wisdom of tribal nations in relation to natural resource issues. Her career has also included service on boards of organizations that have partnered with tribes to expand educational opportunities for Native people, develop renewable and responsible energy solutions with the private sector and government agencies, and emphasize the importance of Native cultures and languages.

We look forward to working with President Obama and the next Interior Secretary to ensure that tribal nations remain central stakeholders and governments in conserving and managing the natural resources, lands, and communities of North America.

NCAI urges the Senate to take swift action to consider this nomination so that Interior can carry on its work that is vital not only to the first Americans, but all Americans.”

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