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For the first time since Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO), a tribal citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, sat on the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in 2005, a Native American will serve on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) was appointed to the Committee on Wednesday, Feb. 1

The Committee on Indian Affairs provides oversight for policies and issues impacting the lives of Native Americans in the United States, such as Senate bills on water rights, education, health, and environmental issues must be passed out of the Committee prior to going to the full Senate floor for a vote.

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A statement from Mullin’s  Senate office on Wednesday says the senator will use his position on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee to study matters related to American Indians, Native Hawaiians, and the Alaska Native peoples.

“The Indian Affairs Committee plays a vital role in ensuring that the federal government upholds its trust and treaty responsibilities to Tribal nations,” Mullin said in a statement. “I look forward to strengthening tribal sovereignty, pursuing self-determination policies, and fostering economic growth in Indian Country. Let’s get to work.” 

Mullin was elected senator in the midterm elections last November. He was sworn in last month to serve a six-year term. Before becoming a senator, Mullin served in the House of Representatives from 2013, representing Oklahoma’s 2nd congressional district.  

In addition to his appointment to the Committee on Indian Affairs, Mullin will serve on three other Senate committees: Armed Services; Environment and Public Works; and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

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