I graduated law school in 2007 and started in private practice. I soon had the opportunity to serve in the Obama administration at the Department of the Interior – in the office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs. There I was lucky to have mentors like Larry Echo Hawk and Del Laverdure. We reformed leasing on Indian lands, putting timelines in place so that other families wouldn’t have the same delays my parents faced. Working with this Committee, we saw the bipartisan enactment and implementation of the HEARTH Act, putting Tribes back in control of leasing and home mortgages on tribal lands. Next, I returned home and used my experience to serve my own Tribe, to teach Indian law to aspiring Native attorneys, and to advocate on behalf of other Tribes. In 2013, I was elected as Chief Judge of the Bay Mills Tribal Court. In that role, I heard heart- wrenching cases about families in crisis and enforced criminal laws in a deliberate and fair way. In that position, I worked to help establish the Bay Mills Healing to Wellness Court. That substance-abuse treatment court has helped to reunite families, provide job opportunities and housing to people in need, and maintain our tribal connections to one another. In 2017, our Tribe elected me to serve as Tribal President and we set about making our Tribal community a better place to live. We were making progress toward this effort when the pandemic struck, and this became an important, life-or-death, focus. Through our partnership with the Indian Health Service, we established early community surveillance testing for COVID-19. We saw a disproportionately low rate of infection on our Reservation thanks to non-partisan coordination with local, state, and federal officials. At the same time, we were able to expand our tribal businesses, develop a new health center, and grow jobs and incomes at Bay Mills, important goals for our community. I know firsthand the connection between public service and the lives of others. When you live with the people you serve, you cannot escape that connection – if you make a mistake, you see it (and, if you don’t see it, there’s sure to be an auntie or a friend to remind you). If confirmed, I will bring that perspective with me to the Department of the Interior. We must help Indian Country build back better after the pandemic. We must also respond with urgency to the violence against Indigenous women and children. And we must lay the foundation for the next generation of Native children to succeed. I believe that tribal governments, rather than federal agencies, are best-suited to respond to the challenges their communities face. Our job is to be a collaborative trustee and ensure that Indian Country drives our work. With your consent, I will be a leader for these important efforts. Miigwetch (Thank you) for the opportunity to be here today, and for your service to our country. I look forward to answering your questions.
It’s a big day for Bryan Newland, a citizen of the Bay Mills Indian Community who has been nominated for a big job in the Biden administration.— indianz.com (@indianz) June 9, 2021
As Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, he'll work with @SecDebHaaland @Interior. #BryanNewland #DebHalaandhttps://t.co/wMa4MG32Qq
Bay Mills Indian Community ‘proud’ of Bryan Newland’s nomination in Biden administration (April 23, 2021)
United South and Eastern Tribes praise nomination of Bryan Newland (April 23, 2021)
Midwest tribes hail nomination of Bryan Newland as Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs (April 23, 2021)
Leaders of Navajo Nation congratulate Assistant Secretary nominee Bryan Newland (April 23, 2021)