Bryan Newland, an enrolled member of the Bay Mills Indian Community, a Federally recognized Ojibwe Tribe in Michigan, is the 14th Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 7, 2021, and officially sworn into office on August 25, 2021. A ceremonial swearing in by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland was held on September 8, 2021.
The Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs assists the Secretary of the Interior in fulfilling the Department’s trust responsibilities to American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes and individuals. The post was established in the late 1970s under the authority contained in 43 U.S.C. 145.
Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Newland had served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs since March 29, 2021. He joined the Department in February 2021 as Senior Advisor to the Secretary after having served as president of the Bay Mills Indian Community since 2017. From 2009 to 2012, he served as counselor and senior policy advisor to Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk. He was acknowledged by Assistant Secretary Echo Hawk as, among other accomplishments, being "pivotal" in working on the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Home ownership (HEARTH) Act, a major piece of legislation that advances Tribal self-determination and sovereignty over Tribal lands.
After leaving Federal service in 2012, Mr. Newland spent four years as chief judge of the Bay Mills Indian Community’s Tribal Court.
Mr. Newland was raised on the Bay Mills Indian Community reservation and graduated from Brimley High School in 1999. He matriculated at Michigan State University, where he went on to become the first graduate of MSU College of Law’s Indian Law Program in 2007. After several years working at one of Michigan’s largest law firms, he joined the Obama Administration in 2009. In 2011, he was among that year’s recipients of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s "Native American 40 Under 40" award.
Mr. Newland is an alumnus of the Udall Foundation’s Native American Congressional Internship Program, serving as an Intern in 2002.
In addition to spending time with his family, he enjoys hiking and kayaking along the shores of Lake Superior as well as being a nature photography enthusiast.