NAFSA Applauds Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Nominee's Commitment to Economic Development in Indian Country

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following a confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs last Friday, the Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) today applauded Kevin Washburn for reaffirming his commitment to furthering the economic development needs of Indian country. Washburn was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the Department of the Interior.

During his confirmation hearing, Washburn acknowledged that the possibility of sequestration and the difficult budget environment may have an adverse impact on tribal communities. In a promising development for native lands, Washburn pledged that he "would work very, very hard to ensure that tribes don't suffer ... and that if I'm confirmed, I will be a strong voice for preserving budgets as best we can so that poor communities don't suffer unduly from budget tightening."

Washburn will still have to be confirmed by the Senate prior to taking office.

NAFSA Executive Director Barry Brandon applauded Washburn's support, saying "Kevin Washburn has established himself as a strong advocate for Indian country.  We welcome his leadership on tribal economic development initiatives should he be confirmed.  His experience with Indian gaming has given him a firsthand look at how successful tribes can be by owning, operating and regulating their own businesses.  His commitment honors the government-to-government relationship between tribes and the federal government, as preserving tribal sovereignty will ensure that tribes will have an opportunity to shape and control their destinies."

NAFSA formed in 2012 to advocate for Native American sovereign rights and enable tribes to offer responsible lending products, promoting economic development in Indian country. NAFSA achieves this goal by providing vital services to tribal governments serving the under-banked with better short-term financial services.

Kevin K. Washburn is currently the dean of the University of New Mexico School of Law and was nominated by President Obama on August 2 to be Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of Interior. He has worked as an attorney in the Indian Resources Section of the U.S. Justice Department, prosecuted violent criminals as an assistant U.S. attorney in New Mexico, served as general counsel of the National Indian Gaming Commission, and taught law at Harvard University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Arizona.

About NAFSA
The Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) formed in 2012 to advocate for Native American sovereign rights and enable tribes to offer responsible online lending products.  Through the protection of consumer rights and sovereign immunity, NAFSA provides vital services to tribally operated lenders serving the under-banked with better short term financial services, furthering economic development opportunities in Indian Country.

SOURCE Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA)



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