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Schatz praise for Akaka Bill support


Sen. Brian Schatz, member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, spoke Wednesday at a hearing on President Obama’s FY 2014 Budget for Tribal Programs.

Schatz thanked Kevin Washburn, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior, for supporting retired Sen. Daniel Akaka’s bill that achieves parity for Native Hawaiians. Washburn, a member of the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma, is the former Dean of the University of New Mexico School of Law, and has served in the highest ranking post for Native American issues in the Obama Administration since September of last year.

“Support from Kevin Washburn, a top policy advisor in President Obama’s administration, is very encouraging,” Schatz said. “He has a keen understanding of federal Indian law and the history of this nation’s treatment of its indigenous people. His view that Native Hawaiians deserve to have the same government-to-government relationship as Native Alaskans and American Indians on the mainland is very welcomed and appreciated. I will continue to work with the Obama administration to find ways to pass the long awaited Akaka Bill and make equal treatment for Native Hawaiians a reality.”

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