The National Congress of American Indians today applauded the White House nomination of Bryan Newland as Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior. His nomination now goes before the U.S. Senate. NCAI urged swift confirmation of Newland’s appointment.
“Today, on Earth Day, I’m heartened by President Biden’s nomination of Bryan Newland for Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. As the former President of the Bay Mills Indian Community and a former employee of Interior, his record and experience in Indian Country are well-known and respected,” NCAI President Fawn Sharp said. “Indian Country is poised for investment and new opportunities for economic growth and the time is right for new leadership. We are ready to engage in initiatives that create a sustainable, inclusive, and strategic agenda for Indian Country. With Bryan Newland as Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, along with the first Native American Secretary of Interior, we will have that critical voice for our traditional cultures, our tribal economies, and the healing of our broken relationship with the federal government. NCAI stands ready to help make this confirmation swift so the Department of Indian Affairs can have in place the vital leadership infrastructure it needs at this important time.”
Mr. Newland is a citizen of the Bay Mills Indian Community (Ojibwe), where he recently completed his tenure as Tribal Chairman. Before that, Newland served as Chief Judge of the Bay Mills Tribal Court. From 2009 to 2012, Newland served as a Counselor and Policy Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Interior-Indian Affairs. In that capacity, he helped develop the Obama Administration’s policies on Indian gaming and Indian lands, reforming the Department of the Interior’s policy on reviewing tribal-state gaming compacts. He also led a team that improved the BIA’s Indian leasing regulations and worked with key officials to help enact the HEARTH Act of 2012.
Prior to his federal service, Newland worked as an attorney with Fletcher Law in Lansing, Michigan. He represented tribal clients on issues including the regulation of gaming facilities, negotiation of tribal-state gaming compacts, the fee-to-trust process, and leasing of Indian lands. He graduated magna cum laude from Michigan State University College of Law and received his undergraduate degree from James Madison College at Michigan State University.