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Health | Politics
Senate confirms Rosebud Sioux woman to HHS position


By unanimous consent, the Senate on Wednesday night confirmed Lillian Sparks as Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Sparks is a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. She is an attorney who has served as executive director of the National Indian Education Association since 2004. She also worked for the National Congress of American Indians and the National Indian Gaming Association.

"I am pleased that the Senate has confirmed Lillian Sparks for this position in the Department of Health and Human Services,” said Sen. Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota), who sits on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. “As a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, she has a unique understanding of the needs of American Indians in South Dakota and around the country.”

The ANA provides financial assistance, training, and technical assistance to tribes, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians. It also oversees grants for the Esther Martinez Native Language program.

Sparks is the ninth Native woman who has been appointed or nominated to a top position with the Obama administration.

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