Cantwell to chair Senate Indian Affairs committee

TULALIP — Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., is poised to take on the chairmanship of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

Cantwell has been a member of the committee since her first year in the Senate in 2001. The chairmanship, as well as all Senate committee assignments, must get the official stamp of the full Senate when the new Congress convenes in January.

For Tulalip Tribes Chairman Mel Sheldon, the news of Cantwell’s proposed assignment is welcome.

“We are so proud of the senator,” Sheldon said. “Maria has been a supporter of ours since her legislative service in Olympia. She has continued that at the federal level.”

Stillaguamish Tribal Chairman Shawn Yanity in Arlington agreed.

“Maria has a long history of knowing the issues, what the tribes face and who the tribes are,” Yanity said. “She has the familiarity with issues such as natural resources, violence against women and many more. We will be leaning a bit more on her to stand stronger on tribal issues. It’s really good to have her in that position.”

Cantwell said she will be honored to lead the committee as its first female chairman.

“I am proud of my work with our state tribes on issues such as education, health care and the environment, including salmon restoration,” Cantwell said. “In our state, the way we work together with the tribes is very relational, but I think that can translate to work with all of the tribal nations in our country.”

Cantwell also mentioned her work to promote the sovereignty of tribal nations as well as economic growth among tribes. She has led Senate efforts to give tribal governments more flexibility to lease land and create businesses on reservations.

“The 29 federally recognized tribes in our state contribute greatly to the state’s cultural diversity, heritage and economy,” Cantwell said. “The tribes in our country are important to our states and our country. I look forward to the opportunities that being the chair of this committee provides.”

Sheldon said he shares what he believes is Cantwell’s mission as an elected official to give back to the county, the state and the country.

“I’ve served five years as chairman of the Tulalip Tribes. I couldn’t have a better job. Like Maria, I look at this as a once-in-lifetime shot to make life better in Indian Country,” Sheldon said. “We look forward to working with her on issues we will face together. She is going to be an active chair for Indian Country.”

Cantwell also serves on the Senate committees on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Energy and Natural Resources, Finance and Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Longboarders from near and far hit the trail in Arlington

The Centennial Sk8 Festival was serious competition for some and just for fun for others.

Signs show the rates for using the express toll lanes for traffic headed southbound on Interstate 405, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, in Bothell, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee announced plans Tuesday to try to decrease congestion on I-405 in answer to commuter complaints that the new express lane tolling system is making traffic worse. The governor said he would not be shutting down the tolling system as some people have called for. But the state transportation department is making plans to add new northbound general purpose lanes to ease some of the congestion and also plan to make it easier to move into and out of the express lanes. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
After a 2-year trial, are I-405’s toll lanes here to stay?

Lawmakers will decide whether to keep them or end the experiment and try something else.

Weary drivers using toll lanes say they have little choice

Congestion continues to be a tedious reality for commuters on I-405, which is as clogged as ever.

Council passes six-month moratorium on safe injection sites

Proposal by County Councilman Nate Nehring passed unanimously.

Terrace woman held following collision in Everett

The three occupants in vehicle were transported to a local hospital in serious condition.

Information sought on drive-by shooting in Everett

Debris from an apparent crash, evidence of gunfire found in the 2800 block of California Street.

Crews recover body of man who fell over Wallace Falls

The area where the man fell is called Sky Valley Lookout, 2.4 miles from the parking lot.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

This week’s Herald Super Kid is Nathan Nicholson of Snohomish High School. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
‘The future is biotech,’ but for now he’s busy with everything

Snohomish senior Nathan Nicholson is a student leader and media master.

Most Read