Last week President Barack Obama announced his nomination of Sally Jewell for Secretary of the Interior, a position currently held by Ken Salazar who is stepping down at the end of March.
Jewell has seen many supporters speak out on her behalf, from Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash) and Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), but her knowledge of Indian country is still unknown.
On February 8, Jewell was referred to as “a great choice” by Billy Frank Jr., chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission (NIFC).
Frank, in an official NIFC statement praised the former chief executive officer for outdoor gear giant REI for her knowledge of tribes and tribal issues, and her respect for tribal sovereignty and treaty rights. Frank highlighted the challenges at hand including salmon recovery, protecting water quality and adapting to climate change – all issues Jewell, if nominated, will have to focus on.
“She’s one of us, and we couldn’t be more pleased that she will be leading the Department of the Interior for the next four years,” Frank said.