Washington - Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) announced U.S. Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-Calif.) as acting ranking member of the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States. The late U.S. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) formerly held the position until his passing in March 2022.
"The former Dean of the House was a tireless advocate for indigenous peoples, and his death has left large shoes to fill," Westerman said. "I have no doubt Congressman Obernolte is up for the challenge. He's already served the subcommittee this Congress as vice ranking member, and with this new position, he will continue to be a passionate advocate for both California tribes and indigenous peoples across America. Congressman Obernolte brings a wealth of knowledge on these issues to the table, and I look forward to working with him to serve and represent indigenous peoples. I'm grateful for his leadership!"
"I have been proud to work on behalf of the tribes in California’s 8th District and across the country during the last year as Vice Ranking Member of this subcommittee. I am honored now to step into the big shoes left by my colleague and friend Rep. Don Young and help to lead this subcommittee as Acting Ranking Member," Obernolte said. "No one knew better than Rep. Young the importance of strengthening the government-to-government relationships with our tribes and of protecting their indigenous heritage. I look forward to working with Chairwoman Leger Fernandez to craft legislation that will promote tribal sovereignty and create a better life for our indigenous peoples."