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Posted: April 29, 2020

24th Navajo Nation Council Speaker Seth Damon (middle, left) congratulated Tyler Fish (middle, right) on the announcement that the White House and US Department of the Interior chose Fish to lead the re-established Council on Native American Affairs. Council Delegates Mark Freeland (far left) and Kee Allen Begay, Jr. (far right) are pictured here during a White House meeting with Navajo leaders in January 2020. Photo courtesy Navajo Nation Council

Office of the Speaker

April 28, 2020

Navajo Nation congratulates Tyler Fish on re-established White House Council on Native American Affairs appointment

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Members of the Navajo Nation Council expressed their congratulations to White House Senior Policy Advisor and Tribal Liaison Tyler Fish on his appointment to the White House Council on Native American Affairs. Fish will lead the council as its Executive Director starting May 4.

“First and foremost, we thank the White House and the Department of the Interior for re-establishing the Council on Native American Affairs,” said Speaker Seth Damon. “With the appointment of Tyler Fish to lead this critical effort, we know the issues unique to Indian Country will continue to be well-represented in the Administration’s priorities.”

The White House announced Tuesday that the Indian Country COVID-19 Response Team assembled by the White House in March would continue through the council. Speaker Damon and members of the 24th Navajo Nation Council began direct coordination with the Administration at the beginning of the year. Through Mr. Fish, the Navajo Nation’s federal legislation priorities have been communicated to the Administration, which include a focus on topics regarding economic development, energy development, infrastructure, public health, cultural resources, public safety, veterans’ affairs and education.

“We thank Mr. Fish for his ongoing advocacy of the needs and priorities of the Navajo Nation and all tribal nations. This is a great opportunity for Navajo leaders to connect directly with our national counterparts to further Navajo sovereignty,” said Council Delegate Eugenia Charles-Newton.

As the Executive Director of the Council, Fish will continue to coordinate inter-agency policy collaboration on tribal nation priorities. Through his work, the issues currently relevant to tribal nations will be elevated and formalized from the past year.

“This is a tremendous sign of progress. The White House Council on Native American Affairs has a strong, proven leader with Tyler Fish. We congratulate him and look forward to working together for the benefit of the people of the Navajo Nation,” said Council Delegate Mark Freeland.

In January, Speaker Damon and members of the Resources and Development Committee conducted an extensive 2-day advocacy trip to the Capitol to present the Navajo Nation’s position on federal legislation regarding cultural and natural resources. The meetings included a consultation with White House officials on the Navajo Nation’s infrastructure, veterans services, natural resource and public safety needs.

“Mr. Fish has been a strong ally to our Nation as the Navajo Nation Council pushes for federal support for the Navajo Nation’s electric, water and transportation infrastructure. We have seen Mr. Fish continually invested in the growing national debate around Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. The Navajo Nation wishes him the best in this new, elevated position,” said Speaker Damon.

On Tuesday, the White House, Mr. Fish, and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs William Crozer began working with the Office of the Speaker to set up a teleconference meeting for all Navajo Nation Chapters to present an update from the White House. Details will be forthcoming from Legislative Branch staff.

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