Erica M. Pinto, chairwoman of The Jamul Indian Village of California, was appointed to serve on the Department of Interior’s Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, it was announced Tuesday.
Pinto will serve as the Pacific Region’s primary member of the committee, representing more than 100 federally recognized tribes throughout California. Her one-year term began June 15.
“I’m very honored to be chosen to serve as a guiding voice on the STAC,” Pinto said. “Representing my people on this scale and helping to shape policies that affect all tribes across the U.S. will truly be one of the highlights of my life. I thank Secretary Haaland for appointing me to serve on the STAC.”
The committee, announced last November at the 2021 White House Tribal Nations Summit, was created to ensure that tribal leaders have direct communication with federal officials. Committee members can exchange views, share information and provide advice and recommendations regarding Department of Interior programs, policies, and funding that affect Tribal nations.
“Tribal members who are joining the first-ever Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee will be integral to ensuring tribal leaders can engage at the highest levels of the department on issues that matter most to their people,” Haaland said. “I look forward to continued engagement and ensuring that the department honors and strengthens our nation-to-nation relationships with tribes.”
The committee will “also work to improve government-to-government relations between the DOI and tribes,” a statement from Haaland’s office said.
The committee is composed of a primary tribal representative from each of the 12 Bureau of Indian Affairs Regions, as well as one alternate from each region.
–City News Service