Deb Haaland and Tom Cole to Co-Chair Native American Caucus
Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK), a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, and Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-NM), an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna who also has Jemez Pueblo heritage, will serve as Co-Chairs of the Native American Caucus. The Caucus will regularly convene briefings and focus on the impact of legislation on tribal nations. “I have always considered it a great privilege to represent the interests and constitutionally-given rights of tribes in Congress,” said Cole. “Long before the United States came to be, tribes greatly influenced the land in which we live. While the federal government has at times had a strained relationship with Indian Country, I am encouraged that efforts have been made to repair and improve it over the years.” Haaland added: “I will be a strong advocate for Native communities in New Mexico and across the country to improve education opportunities, protect and increase access to quality healthcare, expand broadband services, address the silent crisis of missing and murdered indigenous people, and ensure that tribal sovereignty is respected.” Representatives Sharice Davids (D-KS) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) -- enrolled members of the Ho-Chunk and Cherokee Nations, respectively -- along with Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), David Joyce (R-OH), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and Don Young (R-AK) were named Caucus Vice-Chairs. And Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN), who chaired the Caucus for six years, will remain on the Caucus as Co-Chair Emeritus. More here.