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Witness list for House hearing on tribal tourism and Eastern Cherokee bills

The grave of Oconostota, the First Beloved Man of the Cherokee people from 1775 to 1781, is buried at the Chota Memorial in Tennessee. Photo from Sequoyah Birthplace Museum / Facebook

The House Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs is holding a hearing on two bills on Wednesday afternoon.

Lawmakers will take testimony on H.R.3477, the Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience (NATIVE) Act. The bill authorizes the Department of Commerce and the Department of the Interior to include tribes and tribal organizations in their management plans and tourism initiatives.

Also on the agenda is H.R.3599, the Eastern Band Cherokee Historic Lands Reacquisition Act, a bill that places about 96 acres in trust for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The properties are located at the Tellico Reservoir in Tennessee and include significant ancestral Cherokee sites such as the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum and the grave of Oconostota, the First Beloved Man of the Cherokee people from 1775 to 1781.

The hearing takes place at 2:30pm in Room 1324 of the Longworth House Office Building. The witness list follows:
Ms. Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Indian Affairs for Policy and Economic Development
U.S. Department of the Interior
Washington, D.C.

The Honorable Penny Pritzker (Invited)
U.S. Department of the Commerce
Washington, D.C.

The Honorable Bill Anoatubby
The Chickasaw Nation
Ada, OK

The Honorable Patrick Lambert
Principal Chief
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Cherokee, NC

Ms. Sherry L. Rupert
President of the Board
American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association
Albuquerque, NM

Mr. William (Bill) D. Johnson (Invited)
President and CEO
Tennessee Valley Authority Knoxville, TN

Committee Notice:
Legislative Hearing on H.R. 3477 and H.R. 3599 (February 24, 2016)

Related Stories:
House panel takes up tribal tourism and Eastern Cherokee bills (2/18)

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