Continuing the NDNs in new D.C. jobs theme...

“It has taken 233 years for the U.S. Congress to be fully represented by this country’s Indigenous peoples. Tonight, a Native American, a Native Alaskan & a Native Hawaiian are sitting members of the people’s House. Welcome U.S. Representative Peltola to the 117th Congress!” (Twitter Sept. 13, 2022/courtesy U.S. Rep. Kaiali‘i Kahele (D-HI)

…started earlier this week with Elizabeth Carr’s pickup at OMB, we now also have:

  1. The freshly sworn in U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola (D-AK), chosen to serve as a member of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee.

    EARLIER: Mary Peltola doesn't mind being seen as the underdog

    “As the first Alaska Native (Yu’pik) woman to serve as a member of Congress, and on the Natural Resources Committee, Representative Peltola is making history,” Chair Raúl M. Grijalva Grijalva (D-AZ) said in a statement. “She has already proven her leadership as a voice for Alaska, Indigenous communities, and the many remarkable public lands and natural resources in her state. I look forward to working closely with her on the Committee and have no doubt she will continue to be a strong advocate for Alaskans and provide a fresh perspective that will enhance our efforts and make them stronger.”

  2. Lynn Malerba, lifetime chief of the Mohegan Tribe, ceremonially sworn in Monday as U.S. Treasurer, making her the first female Native American to serve in the position. Her signature will now appear on U.S. money.

    EARLIER: Why did it take so long for Treasury to establish a tribal office?

    “For all our progress — there is more work to do to strengthen our nation-to-nation relationship with Tribal governments,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in prepared remarks.

    EARLIER: Tribe got Treasury visit, now tribe wants transformative action

  3. Larry Wright Jr., tapped by the National Congress of American Indians to become its new executive director, taking the place of recently dismissed CEO Dante Desiderio.

    EARLIER: Is Sadina Montani NCAI's sexual harassment fixer?

    “NCAI is pleased to announce the selection of Larry Wright, Jr. (Ponca Tribe of Nebraska) as Executive Director,” the organization announced this week. “The former tribal chairman and military veteran brings a diverse background to create a pathway to long-term success at NCAI & the NCAI Fund.” (Just over a year ago, the organization was saying the same thing about Desiderio, and it is now engaged in a $5 million lawsuit with him.)

  4. Also noteworthy: There are lots of Indians in D.C. this week celebrating the Inflation Reduction Act, despite the fact that it provides tribes less than 1 percent of what they were asking for when the bill was known as Build Back Better — and despite the fact that many environmentally-conscious Natives don’t like its compromises. Leading Democratic Natives are spinning the law as major progress for Indian Country, but not all tribal leaders — even some Democratic ones — agree. Note: President Joe Biden chose not to single out tribal inclusions within his messaging about the law at a White House event on Wednesday. It was seen by some attendees as a strange omission given the number of Indians his staff had invited to celebrate — and given the amount of resources the Democratic National Committee is spending promoting the law within Native communities and publications.

    EARLIER: Was enough done to get tribes money in the Inflation Reduction Act?

Know of other Native movers and shakers on the national scene? Drop us an email.

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