ANA message regarding Senator Daniel Inouye

ANA mourns the passage of Senator Daniel Inouye. He was a true friend to Indian Country and an amazing advocate for Native Hawaiians, residents of Hawaii, and the people of the United States.

Senator Inouye was Chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee (1987-1994) when two important pieces of legislation were passed that greatly impacted the work we do at the Administration for Native Americans: the Native American Languages Act of 1990 and the Native American Languages Act of 1992.  He was also a member of the committee when the Esther Martinez Native Languages Act (EMNLA) was signed into law.  In the current legislative session, Senator Inouye was a co-sponsor of the reauthorization for the EMNLA.  In fact, Senator Inouye sponsored the legislation that became the Native American Languages Act of 1992, authorizing ANA to provide grants “to assist Native American communities with assuring the survival and continuing vitality of their languages”.

Although the Senator led a notable life of military service and a distinguished career in the Senate, we wanted to share this except about his work on Indian Affairs from Senator Inouye’s webpage.

Senator Inouye joined the Committee on Indian Affairs in 1978, and served as the Chairman of the Committee from 1987 to 1994.  Beginning in 1994, the Senator served as Vice Chairman, until June 2001 to December 2002, when he once again assumed the Chairmanship of the Committee.  From January 2003, he again served as Vice Chairman until he resigned his leadership position on the Committee in 2005 in order to assume the Vice Chairmanship of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

In the 100th Congress, when Senator Inouye assumed the Chairmanship of the Indian Affairs Committee, the Committee held more hearings and reported more legislation to the full Senate than any other committee of the Senate.  Landmark legislation including the reauthorizations of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, the Indian Education Act, the Native American Languages Act, and the Native American Programs Act, and the enactment of the Indian Finance Act, the Indian Land Consolidation Act, the American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act, the National Museum of the American Indian Act, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act, the Native Hawaiian Education Act, the Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act, and scores of Indian water rights and land claims settlement laws were also accomplished under the Senator’s leadership.  In addition, the Senator was successful in securing permanent committee status for the Committee on Indian Affairs, which had previously been a Select Committee of the Senate.

With sympathy to his family and loved ones,
The Administration for Native Americans