USET SPF Applauds the Nomination of Bryan Newland for Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs
Friday, April 23, 2021
Source: USET Sovereignty Protection Fund

The following is the text of an April 23, 2021, news release from the United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) Sovereignty Protection Fund.

WASHINGTON, DC — Yesterday, the Biden Administration announced its intent to nominate Bryan Newland, a citizen of the Bay Mills Indian Community (Ojibwe), to be the next Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs (AS-IA). The AS-IA plays a critical role in elevating the voices of Indian Country, as well as delivering upon the federal government’s trust responsibility and obligations. The position’s responsibilities include advising the Secretary of the Interior on Indian Affairs policy issues and overseeing the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Education.

Mr. Newland has spent his career fighting for Tribal rights, becoming a trusted voice in the field of federal Indian law. He would bring a wealth of experience to the role of Assistant Secretary, having served most recently as the President of the Bay Mills Indian Community, as well as Chief Judge of the Bay Mills Tribal court and counselor and Senior Advisor to the AS-IA during the Obama Administration. His background provides him with a unique perspective on matters of Tribal self-governance, self-determination, and the delivery of federal trust and treaty obligations. USET SPF celebrates this nomination as another opportunity to advance Tribal sovereignty and improve the relationship between the United States and Tribal Nations.

“Bryan knows first-hand the challenges we face, as well as the opportunities that lie ahead for us as sovereign governments,” said USET SPF President, Kirk Francis. “We know him to be fair, knowledgeable, and passionately committed to justice for our people and the advancement of the U.S.-Tribal Nation diplomatic relationship. At a time when America is reckoning with its past, Bryan is the right person to meet this moment and deliver meaningful change for Indian Country. On behalf of the USET/USET SPF family, I extend our congratulations and full support.”

As a former Tribal Leader, Mr. Newland’s intimate understanding of both Tribal and federal service will be an asset to the Department of the Interior and its role in Nation-to-Nation diplomacy with Indian Country. Like Secretary Haaland, Mr. Newland holds a full appreciation for our history and relationship with the United States, as well as an indigenous sensibility for the stewardship of our lands, environment, and cultural resources. USET SPF is confident that Mr. Newland’s service as AS-IA will bring significant progress in Tribal sovereignty, self-governance, and self-determination. We call upon the United States Senate to act swiftly on his confirmation in accordance with its responsibility to honor its obligations to Tribal Nations.