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Strickland, Kilmer, Chair of White House Council on Environmental Quality Highlight Need for Federal Investments in Tribal Communities, Conservation

October 7, 2021

Olympia, WA– U.S. Representative Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) and Derek Kilmer (WA-06) joined Brenda Mallory, the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and leaders from the Nisqually Indian Tribe and other Tribal nations for a walking tour of the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge and a discussion on the need for continued federal investments in Tribal communities and conservation efforts.

 “As Congress makes investments across our nation to Build Back Better, addressing equity for Tribal nations, honoring treaty rights, and conservation must be priorities. Protecting fish and salmon habitat, restoring Puget Sound, and supporting clean water and sustainable infrastructure are all crucially important. I’ll continue working with my colleagues, the Nisqually Tribe and other Tribal partners, CEQ Chair Mallory, the Biden Administration and Congressman Kilmer to support equity for our Tribal nations,” said Congresswoman Strickland.

“To address the climate crisis and confront environmental injustice, we must do far more to conserve and restore the lands and waters that sustain us,” said CEQ Chair Mallory. “The President’s Build Back Better Agenda will not only create much-needed jobs from coast to coast, but it will support the kind of work that the Nisqually Indian Tribe is doing to restore the health of the Puget sound ecosystem.”

“We know that for far too long, the federal government has failed to uphold its trust and treaty responsibilities to Native American communities,” said Rep. Kilmer. “That’s why I’m grateful that Chair Mallory could come out to our region and hear firsthand about the steps needed to make real progress for tribal communities. Combined with the earlier visit of Secretary Haaland to our neck of the woods earlier this year, the Biden-Harris Administration is showing it’s committed to providing an all-of-government approach to building more resilient communities, protecting our natural environment, and fulfilling the federal government’s trust responsibilities.  I’m committed to partnering with them - and colleagues like Rep. Strickland - to make sure we make progress.”

"I greatly appreciate CEQ Chair Brenda Mallory, Congresswoman Strickland, and Congressman Kilmer meeting with us in our traditional homeland to have an important conversation about how we save, preserve, and rehabilitate this landscape, these waters, and salmon for all our future generations. There is a lot of work to be done but we had a very productive conversation and I left feeling encouraged that we are all committed to this common goal,” said Chairman William Frank, III, Nisqually Tribe.

Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland serves as Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and is the only African-American woman who serves on the House Armed Services Committee. She is one of the first Korean-American women elected to Congress and the first African-American to represent the Pacific Northwest at the federal level.