Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) announced that Amber Torres, chairman of the Walker River Paiute Tribe, will join the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) first-ever Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee (STAC). Senator Cortez Masto advocated for her selection with DOI, urging them to appoint a Tribal representative from the state of Nevada.
The STAC, composed of Tribal representatives from each of the 12 Bureau of Indian Affairs Regions (BIA), will ensure Tribal leaders have direct and consistent contact and communication with DOI officials. This committee will facilitate robust discussions on intergovernmental responsibilities, exchange views, share information, and provide advice and recommendations regarding programs and funding that affect Native American communities.
“There are so many Tribal communities in Nevada, and they deserve to be at the table when decisions are being made that affect them,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “No one understands this more than Walker River Paiute Tribe Chairman Amber Torres, which is why I strongly recommended her to this position on the Department of the Interior’s Tribal Advisory Committee. I’ll keep working with the administration and Indigenous communities across the state to ensure we honor our trust relationship with Tribal Nations.”
Senator Cortez Masto is one of the strongest champions for Native Americans in the Senate. She has called on the administration to do more to address the epidemic of violence against Native women and girls, including by securing federal funding to protect Native communities, urging the administration to put together a plan to address this issue, and requesting the Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigate the federal response to this crisis. In 2020, she passed the bipartisan Not Invisible Act and Savanna’s Act to help address the epidemic of missing, murdered, and trafficked Indigenous women. She also joined Senators Tester and Murkowski in pushing the administration to implement these laws. Following her advocacy, the Departments of Interior and Justice named members to the commission required by Senator Cortez Masto’s Not Invisible Act.