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Interior Secretary Jewell Will Return To Northwest To Advocate For Tribes

Department of the Interior
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell

Sally Jewell has served as secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior for three and a half years. Before that she was CEO of Kent, Washington-based REI and a member of the UW Board of Regents.

Secretary Jewell was in Alaska last week to address the 50th annual convention of the Alaska Federation of Natives. During her remarks, she told an audience of hundreds she would join them “on the rabble rousing side,” when her job as Interior Secretary comes to a close.

“On things like advocacy for Native education, advocacy for upholding trust and treaty responsibilities to Native Americans – we’ve made good progress, but our work is not done,” Jewell said.

In particular, she said engaging tribal youth in education will be something she continues to work on. She intends to return to her home in Seattle.

Until then, Jewell remains focused on the tasks at hand. Last year, Oregon’s Soda Mountain Wilderness council was granted $25,000 to campaign for the expansion of the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument near Ashland by the end of 2016. There is also a campaign to protect the Owyhee Canyonlands in Southeastern Oregon through a combination of conservation methods, including a national monument designation.

Jewell can recommend both to President Obama before the end of the year.

“There’s a lot of interest by many groups and they have been floating ideas about all kinds of different areas, so I’m not prepared to talk about that right now,” Jewell said.