The House Committee on Natural Resources observes a moment of silence for Eugene “Buzzy” Peltola Jr., on September 20, 2023.

Peltola passed away following a plane crash in Alaska on September 12. He was the spouse of Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Alaska), a member of the committee.

“She and her family are in my prayers,” Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Arkansas), the chairman of the committee, said at the opening of a markup session in the nation’s capital. “I’m sure they’re in the prayers of many of you as well.”

After the moment of silence, Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Arizona) offered his condolences as well. He is the ranking member on the committee.

“Thank you for the acknowledgement of the tragedy that our colleague from Alaska, her and her family, are going through,” Grijalva said.

Peltola was Yup’ik and Tlingit. He worked for Alaska Native entities, for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and for other federal agencies in Alaska. He leaves behind his wife and seven children. He was 57 years old.

Rep. Peltola is the first Alaska Native and the first Alaska Native woman to serve in the U.S. Congress. She is serving out the remainder of the term of the late Don Young, a Republican who passed in March 2022.

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