Senate Confirms Ryan Zinke to Secretary of Department of the Interior

Aloha SCHHA Members, friends and families:

Today, the United States Senate confirmed the nomination by President Trump of Ryan Zinke to the Secretary of the Department of Interior. For a bit of background, Zinke is a Congressman from the state of Montana, a former commander of the Navy and the first Navy Seal to be elected to the US House of Representatives.

Interior has jurisdiction over Insular, Native Hawaiian and Indian affairs, as well as federal lands and resources among other areas, specifically for us, oversight of the state of Hawaii in administering the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act.

From the hearing today, one of the statements made by Zinke was his view that as Secretary, “he is to be a champion of the great Indian Nations”.

While in congress, he helped author and enact the Blackfeet Water Rights Settlement, and worked on federal recognition of the Little Shell Band of Chippewa Cree. One of the statements of many letters of support came from the Fort Belknap Indian Community, saying that Congressman Zinke “understands and respects sovereignty, and deeply cares about Native Americans”.

Congratulations to Secretary Zinke, and we mahalo him for his service in the Navy and in the Congress. We look forward to working with Secretary Zinke and his team to ensure that our families see the fulfillment of the HHCA!

Has been very warm here in DC, but has now turned stormy!

Robin Puanani Danner, SCHHA Chairman