Formation of Tribal Advisory Committee creates first of its kind in U.S.
Special to Atmore News
As part of a focused effort to strengthen relationships between the federal government and tribal nations, U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has appointed Poarch Band of Creek Indians Tribal Chairwoman Stephanie Bryan to a select committee of tribal leaders who will serve as direct advisors to the Department.
The newly formed Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee (STAC) is composed predominantly of native leaders chosen to represent 12 specific regions defined by the Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). Chairwoman Bryan will serve as an Alternate Tribal Leader Member for the BIA Eastern Region.
“It is an incredible honor to be asked to serve Indian Country, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work directly with Secretary Haaland and her dedicated staff at the Department of Interior on the issues that matter most to Poarch and to our fellow tribes in the Eastern region,” Bryan said. “In forming this committee, Secretary Haaland has significantly changed how voices from Indian Country are recognized in policy discussions, and I believe this is a chance for us to truly be at the table and have an impact on decisions made at the federal level affecting tribal communities.”
The formation of STAC was announced in 2021 as part of the White House Tribal Nations Summit. Designed to further strengthen relations between the Department of Interior and Indian Country, it ensures that its Tribal Leader Members have direct, consistent communication channels with the Department of Interior executive leadership and staff that include frank dialogue representing varying viewpoints on issues impacting tribal nations. The Committee will also serve as a channel for timely communication about and access to programs and funding that will help positively impact Native communities.