Statement from Chris James, President and CEO of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, on the passing of Congressman Don Young:
“The National Center is saddened by the passing of Alaska Congressman Don Young. For nearly 50 years, including as Chairman of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs, Congressman Young was a fierce advocate and tireless champion for the Alaska Native community and all of Indian Country. He spearheaded many legislative and funding priorities of Indian Country, always promoting the business and economic development agenda of the National Center. In recognition of his extraordinary leadership, the National Center presented Congressman Young with the Congressional Lifetime Achievement Award at its 2012 Reservation Economic Summit (RES). In the 10 years since that award, Young continued his advocacy of key legislation championed by the National Center that has become law, such as the Native American Business Incubators Program Act (Public Law 116-174) and the Indian Community Economic Enhancement Act (Public Law 116-216), in addition to other achievements advancing Indian economic and energy development.
“Congressman Young always gave full-throated support to Native communities’ priorities, and we owe a debt of gratitude to him persistent, bipartisan leadership in an increasingly divided Washington. Our thoughts are with his wife Anne, his friends and family, and the millions who benefited from Congressman Don Young’s distinguished career in public service.”