Hawaiʻi senior Sen. Brian Schatz has been appointed as the chair of the Committee on Indian Affairs. He will serve along with vice chair Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Per its official mission statement, “The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs is responsible for oversight of issues and opportunities of Native Americans and Alaska Natives, such as, but not limited to, land management, trust responsibility, education, healthcare, and claims made against the United States.”
Essentially, they’re tasked with looking out for the welfare of native people.
The word “Indian” has been deemed problematic by many (it was recently excised as the mascot of the Cleveland baseball club) but it remains in the committee’s title.
Sen. Schatz also serves on the Appropriations Committee, the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, and the Select Committee on Ethics.