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Secretary Jewell to Offer Keynote Remarks at Tribal Summit in Washington State

SEATTLE, WA. – On Thursday, April 24, 2014, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will provide keynote remarks at a tribal summit organized by U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-6) and hosted by the Suquamish Tribe at the Port Madison Indian Reservation on Bainbridge Island. The Secretary will also meet with individual tribal leaders and tour the Suquamish hatchery and seafood plant with Tribe Chairman Leonard Forsman.

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2014 Graduation Ceremony of the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque, NM

Please join us to view the 2014 Graduation Ceremony of the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico at 10:00 a.m. (MDT). U. S. Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell will provide the Graduation Commencement Address.

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Secretary Jewell to Deliver Commencement Address at Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute

On Thursday, April 17, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will address the 2014 graduating class of the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI), a National Indian Community College and Land Grant Institution located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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Assistant Secretary Washburn Announces Next Listening Sessions on BIA Indian Child Welfare Act Guidelines for State Courts

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that his office will hold the next set of Listening Sessions on the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Guidelines for State Courts on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at the National Indian Child Welfare Association annual conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and on Thursday, April 24, via teleconference.

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Assistant Secretary Washburn Approves Four HEARTH Act Applications to Help Spur Economic Development in Tribal Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today approved leasing regulations submitted by four federally recognized tribes, restoring their authority to control the leasing of their trust lands and promoting their self-determination and economic development. This streamlined process for restoring tribal leasing authority is consistent with the objectives of the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act, or HEARTH Act.

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Interior signs cooperative agreement with Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate as Next Step in Land Buy-Back Program

WASHINGTON, DC – As part of President Obama’s commitment to help strengthen Native American communities, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced the latest step in the implementation of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program), as the Department signed its next cooperative agreement, this time with the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation located in northeastern South Dakota and in southeastern North Dakota.

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Interior Announces First Transfer from Land Buy-Back Program to Cobell Education Fund

The Department of the Interior today announced that quarterly transfers of funds to the Cobell Education Scholarship Fund are set to begin this week with a first transfer of nearly $580,000 to the American Indian College Fund. The Scholarship Fund was authorized by the historic Cobell Settlement, approved in November 2012, to provide financial assistance through annual scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native students wishing to pursue post-secondary education and training.

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BIA Office of Justice Services to Hold Second Tribal Court Trial Advocacy Training Session of 2014 on March 31-April 3 in Denver

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Office of Justice Services (OJS) will hold the second of its 2014 tribal court trial advocacy training sessions for tribal court personnel on March 31 through April 3 in Denver, Colo. This session will focus on prosecuting individuals trafficking illegal narcotics.

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Register Now for Climate Change Task Force Webinar Series

White House Seeks Input from Tribal Leaders on Climate Change Impacts The White House Office of Public Engagement and Council on Environmental Quality, in conjunction with the U.S. Departments of Energy, Agriculture, the Interior, Health and Human Services (DHS), Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation; the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is pleased to announce a webinar series entitled “The Climate Change Impacts and Indian Country.”

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Join us on March 24th for a Tribal Day of Action for Affordable Care Act Enrollment

Last week, Vice President Biden and Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius spoke directly to tribal leaders and community members on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act for American Indians and Alaska Natives. The Vice President and the Secretary encouraged action from tribal leaders and community members, to get them, their friends, and their relatives enrolled! March 24th is the National Tribal Day of Action on Affordable Care Act enrollment - a perfect opportunity for Indian Country to rally with community partners in health to organize an Affordable Care Act enrollment event. Please join us in this effort to get covered with quality, reliable, and affordable health care insurance before March 31st!

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Interior Announces More Than $100 Million in Purchase Offers to Nearly 16,000 Landowners with Fractionated Interests at Pine Ridge Reservation

In another step to fulfill President Obama’s commitment to strengthen Indian communities, the U.S. Department of the Interior today announced that the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program) has sent purchase offers to nearly 16,000 individual landowners with fractionated interests in parcels on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Totaling more than $100 million, these offers will provide landowners the opportunity to voluntarily sell their fractionated interests, which would be consolidated and held in trust for the Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Reservation.

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Secretary Jewell Announces $3.2 Million in Grant Awards For 21 Tribal Energy and Mineral Development Projects

CROW AGENCY, Montana -- As part of President Obama’s commitment to work with Indian Country leaders to promote strong, prosperous and resilient tribal economies and communities, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced that $3.2 million has been awarded to 21 tribal projects to assist in developing energy and mineral resources, including $655,000 to the Crow Tribe to advance a hydroelectric project that will provide low-cost clean power to tribal members and encourage business on Crow lands.

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Video of Hand Drum SIPI Accreditation Honor Song

I am pleased to share with you a beautiful video of two SIPI students, Matthew Gachupin and Byron Yepa, both students from the Pueblo of Jemez drumming and singing their gift of song to SIPI, the Hand Drum SIPI Accreditation Honor Song.

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SIPI Awarded “Initial Accreditation” Status By The Higher Learning Commission

Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI), a Bureau of Indian Education operated post-secondary institution of higher learning in Albuquerque, N.M., has been awarded “initial accreditation” status by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

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Assistant Secretary Washburn Issues Decision on Gaming Application for Kaw Nation of Oklahoma

Washington, D.C. – Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today issued a decision to acquire a 21-acre parcel of land in Kay County, Oklahoma, in trust for the Kaw Nation of Oklahoma (Nation) for gaming purposes. The Tribe plans to construct and operate a small casino facility on the site, which also hosts the Tribe’s travel plaza that provides refueling to interstate traffic and will continue to operate on the site.

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President's Indian Affairs Budget Request Promotes Strong Tribal Economies, Communities and Families

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget request for Indian Affairs, which includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), is $2.6 billion – a $33.6 million increase above the FY 2014 enacted level. The request maintains the President’s commitment to meet the Federal government’s responsibilities to the 566 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes by promoting stronger tribal economies, communities and families.

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Statement of Kevin K. Washburn, Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs, Regarding the Cedarville Racheria

Washington ­­– “Last week, the Cedarville Rancheria experienced a terrible tragedy. Three tribal members, one tribal employee were killed and two tribal members were seriously injured, leaving the community aggrieved and in shock.

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Assistant Secretary Washburn Approves Funding for College of the Muscogee Nation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that the College of the Muscogee Nation in Okmulgee, Okla., is eligible for operations funding from the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) under Title I of Public Law 95-471, the Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities Assistance Act of 1978, as amended. Funding to the College would commence in July 2014.

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Bureau of Indian Affairs Publishes Updated Federally Recognized Tribes List

WASHINGTON, DC – The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) published in the Federal Register on Jan. 29 a notice with the updated listing of all federally recognized tribes in the United States, as required by law. The list is maintained, updated and published by the BIA’s Office of Indian Services, Division of Tribal Government Services. The list was last published on May 6, 2013.

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Secretary Jewell to Celebrate Next Cooperative Agreement under the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tomorrow, Thursday, January 30, 2014 Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Chairman Ronald Trahan of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, located in Montana, will announce a cooperative agreement to implement the Land Buy Back for Tribal Nations Program (Buy-Back Program) on the Flathead Indian Reservation. The Buy-Back Program will purchase trust or restricted interests from willing sellers and transfer those interests to the Tribes in order to unlock lands for tribal development and other priorities.

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Assistant Secretary Washburn Issues Final Determination Against Acknowledgment of Tolowa Nation in Fort Dick, California

WASHINGTON, DC – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn today issued a final determination not to acknowledge the petitioner known as the Tolowa Nation (Petitioner #85) located in Fort Dick, California, as an Indian tribe under the regulations governing the Federal acknowledgment process (at 25 Code of Federal Regulations Part 83).

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Assistant Secretary Washburn Approves Gaming Application for Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria

WASHINGTON, DC – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today approved a request by the Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria to acquire 626 acres in trust in Butte County, California, near the City of Chico for gaming purposes. The Mechoopda Tribe will construct and operate a modest gaming facility on 91 acres of the site. The project is estimated to create 214 full-time jobs.

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BIA Office of Justice Services to Hold First Tribal Court Trial Advocacy Training Session of 2014 in Albuquerque on Jan. 27-30

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services will hold its first tribal court trial advocacy training session for tribal court personnel in 2014 on Jan. 27-30 in Albuquerque, N.M., which includes a case study on a sexual assault on an adult.

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Assistant Secretary Washburn Issues Proposed Findings for Two Federal Acknowledgment Petitioners

WASHINGTON, DC – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today issued proposed findings for two petitioners under the Federal Acknowledgment Process. The decisions include a proposed finding to acknowledge the petitioner known as the Pamunkey Indian Tribe (Petitioner #323) as a federally recognized Indian Tribe, and a proposed finding to decline acknowledgment for the petitioner known as the Meherrin Indian Tribe of North Carolina (Petitioner #119b). Today’s announcements begin a

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BIA Grants Will Boost Tribal Preparedness and Resilience to Climate Change

The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs announced today that it has awarded more than $600,000 in grants to 18 tribes or tribal consortiums to support them in addressing the challenges of climate change as part of the President’s Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon pollution, move the economy toward clean energy sources and prepare communities for the impacts of climate change.

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BIE Director Dr. Charles Roessel Announces Dr. Venida S. Chenault as Haskell President

WASHINGTON – Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) Director Dr. Charles M. Roessel today announced the selection of Dr. Venida S. Chenault as president of Haskell Indian Nations University (Haskell) in Lawrence, Kan. Chenault, an enrolled member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation in Kansas, had been serving as vice president of academic affairs at Haskell since December 2004. Her new appointment is effective Jan. 12, 2014.

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Statement of Assistant Secretary Kevin K. Washburn on the Passing of Former and First Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Forrest J. Gerard

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn, speaking on behalf of the entire Department of the Interior, today issued the following statement on the passing of Forrest J. Gerard, a member of the Blackfeet Tribe in Montana and the first Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs who served from Oct. 13, 1977 to Jan. 19, 1980

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Assistant Secretary Washburn Announces IEED Solicitation of Grant Proposals to Assess, Evaluate and Promote Tribal Energy and Mineral Resources Development

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) Division of Energy and Mineral Development is soliciting grant proposals from Indian tribes and Alaska Native corporations for projects that promote the processing, use or development of energy and mineral resources on Indian lands.

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Assistant Secretary Washburn Announces IEED Solicitation of Tribal Energy Development Capacity-Buiding Grant Proposals

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) is soliciting grant proposals from Indian tribes for projects to build tribal capacity for energy resource development.

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Assistant Secretary Washburn Issues Record of Decision to Tribe to Lease 720 Acres to the Tule Wind Energy Project

WASHINGTON - ¬¬Assistant Secretary -Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn issued a Record of Decision this week to approve an application submitted by the Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians to lease up to 720 acres of reservation land to Tule Wind, LLC, for a portion of the Tule Wind Energy Project located near San Diego, California.

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Assistant Secretary Washburn Approves Tribal HEARTH Act Applications to Better Facilitate Economic Development on Two Additional Reservations

Washington, D.C. – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn announced today that the Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians and the Kaw Nation are the latest tribes to receive clearance of tribal leasing codes to enable them to handle leasing of their own Indian lands without having to obtain the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) approval.

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Assistant Secretary Washburn Names Dr. Charles M. Roessel Director of the Bureau of Indian Education

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary Kevin K. Washburn today announced that he has named Dr. Charles M. “Monty” Roessel as Director of the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). Roessel, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, had served as the acting director since February 2013.

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Secretary Jewell to Visit Laguna Pueblo School, Discuss American Indian Education Initiatives

On Wednesday, December 11, as part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to strengthen education for Native youth, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn will visit New Mexico to tour a Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) tribally controlled grant school located on the Pueblo of Laguna reservation.

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Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform to hold Dec. 10 Public Webinar to Gather Comments on Administration of Indian Trust Assets

WASHINGTON – The Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform has added a public meeting on Dec. 10, 2013, to its schedule, which will be held via webinar. The meeting will gather public comments to help the Commission complete a comprehensive evaluation of the Department of the Interior’s administration of nearly $4 billion in Indian trust assets and will offer recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior about how to improve in the future.

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Black Names Weldon "Bruce" Loudermilk as BIA's Next Regional Director for Alaska

WASHINGTON – Bureau of Indian Affairs Director Michael S. Black has named Weldon “Bruce” Loudermilk as Regional Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Alaska Regional Office in Anchorage. Loudermilk, an enrolled member of the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana, had been serving as regional director of the Bureau’s Great Plains Regional Office in Aberdeen, S.D., since June 20, 2010.

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Secretary Jewell signs Historic Agreement with Citizen Potawatomi Nation to Spur Investment, Economic Activitiy in Indian Country

SHAWNEE, Okla. – As part of President Obama’s commitment to self-determination of tribal nations, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today joined Citizen Potawatomi Nation Chairman John Barrett to formally approve tribal leasing regulations that will help spur investment and commercial development on the nation’s trust lands in central Oklahoma.

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Secretary Jewell in Oklahoma on Monday for Signing Ceremony with Citizen Potawatomi Nation to Advance Self-Governance, Spur Economic Development

On Monday, November 25, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn will visit Oklahoma to participate in a signing ceremony with Chairman John Barrett of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, approving the tribe’s leasing regulations in accordance with the HEARTH Act. The law restores the authority of federally recognized American Indian tribes to control the leasing of their trust lands, thereby promoting self-determination and economic development.

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Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform Webinar

Public Webinar Meeting #8

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Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform to Hold Final Public Meeting Via Webinar on Nov. 20

WASHINGTON – The Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform will hold its final public meeting on Nov. 20, 2013, via webinar. The Commission is completing a comprehensive evaluation of the Department of the Interior’s management and administration of Indian trust assets within a two-year period and will offer recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior of how to improve in the future.

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Washburn Finalizes Changes to Land-into-Trust Procedures to Achieve Greater Transparency, Clarity and Certainty for Tribes

Washburn Finalizes Changes to Land-into-Trust Procedures to Achieve Greater Transparency, Clarity and Certainty for Tribes

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Interior Expands Land Buy-Back Process Across Indian Country

As part of President Obama’s commitment to help strengthen Indian communities, and following nation-to-nation consultations with tribal leaders, the Department of the Interior is expanding the implementation strategy for the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program).

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Interior Releases Valuation Plan for Land Buy-Back Program; Reviewed, Strengthened by The Appraisal Foundation

As part of President Obama’s commitment to help strengthen American Indian communities, the Department of the Interior today released its revised Land Buy-Back Program Valuation Plan. The Appraisal Foundation (TAF), the nation’s foremost authority on appraisal standards and qualifications, performed a comprehensive review of the draft Plan, which was revised to incorporate all of TAF’s recommendations.

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Indian Affairs Providing Limited Services During the Federal Government Shutdown

The Department of the Interior – Office of the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) will provide limited services to tribes, students and individuals during the shutdown of the federal government. Of the total 8,143 employees, a total of 2,860 will be furloughed.

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President Obama Announces 2013 White House Tribal Nations Conference

On Wednesday, November 13, President Obama will host the White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of the Interior. The conference will provide leaders from the 566 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and members of the White House Council on Native American Affairs. Each federally recognized tribe will be invited to send one representative to the conference.

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Assistant Secretary Washburn Issues Decision on Gaming Application for Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today issued a positive Secretarial Determination to the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin for an off-reservation class III gaming facility located on a 228-acre parcel in the City of Kenosha, Wisconsin. The land can be acquired in trust for gaming purposes only if the Governor concurs in the determination within one year.

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Interior’s Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations Launches Comprehensive Web Resource for Landowners and Tribes

The Department of the Interior today announced the launch of a new, comprehensive resource for Indian landowners and tribal governments seeking information about the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program). The website, http://www.doi.gov/buybackprogram, will serve as a one-stop-shop for visitors interested in timely and regularly updated information about the Buy-Back Program.

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Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform to Hold Seventh Public Meeting Aug. 19 in Anchorage, Alaska

The Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform will hold the seventh in a series of public meetings on Aug. 19, 2013, in Anchorage, Alaska, as part of the Commission’s comprehensive evaluation of the Department of the Interior’s management and administration of Indian trust assets. The meeting also will be accessible by teleconference and Webinar.

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Department Extends Opportunity for Public Comment on Preliminary Discussion Draft Concerning the Federal Acknowledgment Regulations

Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn announced that the Department is extending the opportunity for public comment on a Preliminary Discussion Draft of potential changes to the Federal Acknowledgment Process by more than 30 days to September 25, 2013. This extended period is in response to written requests as well as requests received at the tribal consultation sessions and public meetings held in July and August.

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Office of Justice Services to Hold Fourth Tribal Court Trial Advocacy Training Session on August 6-9 in Mississippi

The Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services will offer the next in its series of training sessions for tribal court personnel on Aug. 6-9, 2013, in Philadelphia, Miss., with presentations that focus on domestic violence.

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Statement of Assistant Secretary Kevin K. Washburn on the Passing of Tunica-Biloxi Tribe Chairman Earl J. Barbry Sr.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today issued the following statement on the passing of Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana Chairman Earl J. Barbry Sr.: "Having given a lifetime of dedication and distinguished service to the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, Chairman Barbry will long be remembered as one of the great visionary and courageous leaders Indian Country has produced throughout history. He was a quiet and respectful man full of action who willingly shouldered the weight of responsible leadership, and worked tirelessly over the years to improve the lives of his people.

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TODAY Secretary Jewell to Sign Historic Water Rights Agreement with White Mountain Apache Tribe and State of Arizona

On Tuesday, July 30, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will sign an historic agreement at the Department of the Interior that will guarantee water rights for the White Mountain Apache Tribe of Arizona and provide water security for the City of Phoenix and other downstream water users. The ceremony will be live-streamed to the public.

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Secretary Jewell Signs Historic Water Rights Agreement with White Mountain Apache Tribe and State of Arizona

As part of President Obama’s commitment to empower tribal nations, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, on behalf of the United States, today signed an historic agreement at the Department of the Interior guaranteeing water rights for the White Mountain Apache Tribe of Arizona. The agreement will also provide funding for infrastructure to deliver clean drinking water to the Reservation, as well as water security for the City of Phoenix and other downstream water users.

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White House Council on Native American Affairs Begins Implementing President’s National Policy Initiatives

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today convened the inaugural meeting of the White House Council on Native American Affairs, launching President Obama’s national policy initiative to make federal agencies work more collaboratively and effectively with federally recognized tribes to advance their vital economic and social priorities.

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Office of Justice Services to Hold Third Tribal Court Trial Advocacy Training Session on July 22-25 in Reno

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services will offer the next in its series of training sessions for tribal court personnel on July 22-25, 2013, in Reno, Nev., with cases focusing on illegal narcotics.

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Statement of Assistant Secretary Kevin K. Washburn on the Passing of Former Mille Lacs Band Chief Executive Marge Anderson

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today issued the following statement on the passing of former Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Chief Executive Marge Anderson:

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Public Comments Invited on SIPI Accreditation

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) will undergo a comprehensive evaluation visit October 7-9, 2013 by a team representing The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The public is being invited to submit comments on the school until September 9, 2013. SIPI is currently in “candidacy” status and is a candidate for initial accreditation by the Commission.

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TODAY: Secretary Jewell to Discuss White House Council on Native American Affairs

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will hold a news media conference call with reporters to discuss President Obama’s establishment of the White House Council on Native American Affairs. Members of the media may participate in the call by dialing 1-888-810-6756 and providing the access code INTERIOR.

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NCAI Mid Year Conference LIVE STREAM - Department of the Interior, Secretary Sally Jewell Addresses the Third General Assembly

Today, June 27, 2013, Secretary Sally Jewell will address the Third General Assembly at NCAI's Mid Year Conference in Reno, Nevada. Secretary Jewell was recently nominated by President Obama and became the 51st Secretary of the Interior on April 12, 2013. Prior to joining the Department of the Interior, Secretary Jewell was the President and CEO of REI (Recreation Equipment, Inc.), one of the major national outdoor outfitters in the country and ranked by Fortune Magazine as one of the top 100 companies to work for. Secretary Jewell also has a background as a commercial banker in energy and natural resources, and has training as a petroleum engineer.

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Executive Order -- Establishing the White House Council on Native American Affairs

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to promote and sustain prosperous and resilient Native American tribal governments, it is hereby ordered as follows:

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Secretary Jewell to Discuss White House Council on Native American Affairs

On Thursday, June 27, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will hold a news media conference call with reporters to discuss President Obama’s establishment of the White House Council on Native American Affairs. Members of the media may participate in the call by dialing 1-888-810-6756 and providing the access code INTERIOR.

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Washburn Announces Consideration of Revisions to Federal Acknowledgment Regulations

WASHINGTON – As part of President Obama’s commitment to strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship with Native Americans and Alaska Natives, Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced the availability of a discussion draft of potential changes to the Department of the Interior’s Part 83 process for acknowledging certain Indian groups as federally recognized tribes. The discussion draft is intended to provide tribes and the public an early opportunity to provide input on potential changes to the Part 83 process.

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Assistant Secretary Washburn to Speak at National Congress of American Indians’ 2013 Mid-Year Conference in Reno

Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn will speak on Tuesday, June 25 at the opening of the National Congress of American Indians’ 2013 Mid-Year Conference in Reno, Nev. The National Congress of American Indians is the oldest and largest association of tribal governments in the United States. The Assistant Secretary will update tribal leaders on a number of Interior Department activities in Indian Country including:

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Interior Announces Steps Underway for Implementation of $1.9 Billion Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations

Following extensive consultations with American Indian leaders, the Department of the Interior today made a number of announcements related to the significant efforts underway for the purchase of fractional interests in American Indian trust lands from willing sellers. In particular, the Department announced that it has launched efforts to establish cooperative agreements with several tribal nations to facilitate the purchase of individual interests in highly fractionated trust lands for the purpose of consolidating ownership of these acres for the beneficial use of tribal nations.

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Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes to Discuss Efforts Underway to Implement Tribal Land Buy-Back Program

On Tuesday, June 18, Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes will hold a news media teleconference to discuss the next phase of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program), including launching pilot efforts to establish cooperative agreements with Tribal governments. Hayes will be joined by Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn.

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Office of Justice Services to Hold Second in Series of Tribal Court Trial Advocacy Training Sessions June 17-20 in Grand Forks, N.D.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services will offer the next in its series of training sessions for tribal court personnel on June 17-20, 2013, in Grand Forks, N.D., with cases focusing on sexual assault on children.

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Assistant Secretary Washburn Finalizes Procedures for Indian Affairs to Implement the Buy Indian Act

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that the Department of the Interior has a final rule for Indian Affairs to implement the Buy Indian Act of 1910 (25 U.S.C. 47, as amended), which authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to set aside procurement contracts for American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned and controlled small businesses.

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Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform to Hold Sixth Public Meeting June 7 in Oklahoma City

The Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform will hold the sixth in a series of public meetings on June 7, 2013, in Oklahoma City, Okla., to gather information towards developing a comprehensive evaluation of the Department of the Interior’s management and administration of Indian trust assets.

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Upcoming Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform Meeting

Friday, June 7, 2013, 8:00 am ‐ 12:00 pm (CDT), Courtyard Marriot Oklahoma City Downtown, 2 West Reno, Oklahoma City, OK 73102

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Washburn Issues Secretarial Determination on Gaming Application for Kaw Nation of Oklahoma

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn issued a positive Secretarial Determination for a tribal gaming application for the Kaw Nation of Oklahoma. The determination now goes to the State of Oklahoma for their consideration.

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Washburn Proposes Changes to Land-into-Trust Procedures to Achieve Greater Transparency, Clairty and Certainty for Tribes

WASHINGTON – Today, Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn issued for public comment a proposed rule designed to demonstrate the Administration’s commitment to restoring tribal homelands and furthering economic development on Indian reservations. The proposed rule will provide for greater notice of land-into-trust decisions and clarify the mechanisms for judicial review depending on whether the land is taken into trust by the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, or by an official of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. During the public comment window, Indian Affairs will also conduct tribal consultation.

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Tribal Wildlife Grants Program Awards 23 Native American Tribes in 14 States for Conservation Work

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced Tribal Wildlife Grants awards to Native American tribes in 14 states to fund a wide range of conservation projects.

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Office of Justice Services’ Charles Addington Named a 2013 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal Finalist

Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that Charles Addington, associate director of field operations for the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Justice Services, has been named a finalist by the Partnership for Public Service for its 2013 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals. Addington, an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation, is among 31 finalists, and the only Interior Department employee, in seven medal categories who were announced on May 7.

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Office of Justice Services to Hold Tribal Court Trial Advocacy Training Sessions on Cases Involving Trafficking in Illegal Narcotics, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault on Adults and Children

Because of a high level of interest, the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services (OJS) is providing legal training it successfully held last year to new groups of tribal court prosecutors, defenders and judges to improve their trial advocacy skills. The training focuses on cases involving the trafficking of illegal narcotics, domestic violence and sexual assault on adults and children.

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National Museum of the American Indian and Bureau of Indian Affairs to Co-Host Special Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Exhibit During National Police Week in D.C.

WASHINGTON – For the first time in their histories, the National Museum of the American Indian and the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services will co-host a special exhibit of the Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial during the 2013 National Police Week. The special exhibit will be located in the Museum’s Potomac Atrium from May 13 through 17.

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Kevin Washburn to Participate in Indian Child Welfare Summit in South Dakota

WASHINGTON – On May 15, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn will participate in a roundtable discussion with tribal, state and other federal government representatives to discuss the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). The discussion will help lead to a greater understanding of ICWA’s purpose and implementation. This discussion is part of the Great Plains ICWA summit: Bring Our Children Home and Keep Our Families Strong that will take place May 15-17, 2013, at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center in Rapid City, S.D.

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Indian Affairs to Hold Second Secured Transaction Law Training forTribal Judges and Attorneys on May 8-9 in Minnesota

WASHINGTON – Indian Affairs will hold the second of three training workshops designed for tribal judges and attorneys on the topic of secured transactions. The training, to be held on May 8-9, 2013, in Bloomington, Minn., will be conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs’(BIA) Office of Justice Services/Tribal Justice Support (BIA-OJS/TJS) and the Indian Affairs Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED).

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OJS to Hold Second Training Session for Tribal Courts on DWI Cases May 1-3 in Flagstaff, Arizona

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services (OJS) will hold the second of three training sessions to improve the trial advocacy skills of tribal court judges and prosecutors in dealing with driving-while-intoxicated (DWI) cases. The session, which will provide advanced training in DWI cases, is being held May 1-3 in Flagstaff, Ariz.

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BIA Director Michael Black to Keynote 22nd Annual Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service

Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Director Michael Black will deliver the keynote address at the 22ndAnnual Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service on Thursday, May 2, 2013. The Office of Justice Services hosts the event at the Bureau of Indian Affairs United States Indian Police Academy in Artesia, N.M. to honor and commemorate tribal, state, local and federal law enforcement officers working on federal Indian lands and in tribal communities who have given their lives in the line of duty.

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SIPI Student Wendi Cole Named a 2013 New Century Scholar

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that Wendi Cole, a member of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe in South Dakota and student at the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, has been named a 2013 New Century Scholar and selected for the All-USA Community College Academic Team.

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Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform to Hold Next Public Meeting April 29 in Nashville

WASHINGTON – The Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform will hold its next public meeting on April 29, 2013, in Nashville, Tennessee. An online component of the meeting will be available for those who are unable to attend.

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Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform Public Meeting #5

Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform Public Meeting #5 Announcement

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Washburn Announces BIA to Reopen Applicant Search for Alaska Regional Director Post

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) will reopen its search for a new regional director of the Bureau’s Alaska Regional Office. The BIA will begin soliciting applicants for the Senior Executive Service (SES) position, which is located in Anchorage, starting on April 22, 2013.

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President's Fiscal Year 2014 Indian Affairs Budget Focuses on Strengthening and Supporting Tribal Nations

WASHINGTON – President Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget request for Indian Affairs, which includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), is $2.6 billion – a $31.3 million increase above the FY 2012 enacted level. The proposed budget maintains the President’s commitment to meeting the government’s responsibilities to the 566 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes, while exercising fiscal responsibility and improving government operations and efficiency.

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Secretary Salazar Finalizes Historic Aamodt Water Rights Settlement in New Mexico

SANTA FE, NM – As part of President Obama’s commitment to empowering American Indian tribal nations and strengthening their economies, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today joined New Mexico Governor Susanna Martinez and leaders from four Pueblo tribes—the Tesuque, Nambe, Pojoaque and San Ildefonso—at the Santa Fe Indian School to execute settlement documents and celebrate the historic New Mexico vs. Aamodt water rights settlement.

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Secretary Salazar Signs Historic Agreement in New Mexico to Help Spur Economic Development in Indian Country

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – As part of President Obama’s commitment to empowering American Indian tribal nations and strengthening their economies, today Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn joined Pueblo of Sandia Governor Victor Montoya to approve one of the first tribal regulations in the nation issued under the newly enacted Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act (HEARTH Act).

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Secretary Salazar Announces Cobell Scholarship Fund Administrator

WASHINGTON D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that the American Indian College Fund has been selected to administer the student Scholarship Fund authorized by the Cobell Settlement, with a fifth of the annual scholarships to be awarded by the American Indian Graduate Center. Secretary Salazar is also seeking nominations for two of the members who will serve on the Board of Trustees that oversees the educational fund.

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Secretary Salazar to Visit New Mexico to Mark Historic Progress in Indian Country Will approve one of the nation’s first tribal leasing rights under the HEARTH Act; will sign final Aamodt water rights settlement

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – On Thursday, March 14, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Assistant Secretary Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn will visit New Mexico to participate in two historic signing ceremonies for Indian Country.

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Federal Agencies Announce Action Plan to Guide Protection of Indian Sacred Sites

WASHINGTON – As part of President Obama’s commitment to honoring a nation-to-nation relationship with Indian Country, four cabinet-level departments today joined the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in releasing an action plan to strengthen the protection of Indian sacred sites and provide greater tribal access to these heritage areas. The interagency plan is required by the Memorandum of Understanding signed in December 2012 by the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Interior and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation regarding coordination and collaboration for the protection of sacred sites.

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BIA, Tribal and County Law Enforcement Work Together to Apprehend Federal Fugitive Speeding Towards Standing Rock Reservation

STANDING ROCK, N.D. – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services (OJS) officers, working with tribal and county law enforcement, were instrumental in apprehending an “armed and dangerous” adult male approximately 12 miles from Fort Yates community on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. The individual was wanted on a federal warrant for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamines.

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Salazar, Washburn Commend Passage of Violence Against Women Act

WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Assistant Secretary- Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today praised the passage of the Violence Against Women Act, which includes important provisions for federally recognized tribal communities, saying it advances the progress the nation has made in combating violence against women by providing greater protections against homicide, rape, assault and battery in the home, workplace and on school campuses across the country.

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Deputy Assistant Secretary Roberts Updates Spirit Lake Community on BIA Actions Addressing Tribe’s Child Safety and Protection Issues

FORT TOTTEN, N.D. – Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts reported personally to Spirit Lake tribal members today on efforts the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has taken to-date to address child safety and protection issues on the Spirit Lake Reservation in North Dakota. Roberts represented Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn, whose testimony at a congressional hearing also taking place today precluded his attendance at the community event.

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OJS to Hold First Training Session for Tribal Courts on DUI/DWI Cases, Feb. 27 to March 1 in Albuquerque

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services (OJS) will hold the first of three training sessions to improve the trial advocacy skills of tribal court judges and prosecutors in dealing with driving-under-the-influence (DUI) and driving-while-intoxicated (DWI) cases. The session will be held Feb. 27 through March 1 in Albuquerque, N.M.

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FEMA Seeks Applicants for National Advisory Council

Washington - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is requesting individuals who are interested in serving on the National Advisory Council (NAC) to apply for appointment. The NAC is an advisory committee established to ensure effective and ongoing coordination of federal preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation for natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.

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Third Consultation Session on Interior's Initial Implementation Plan for Cobell Land Consolidation Component to be Held Feb. 14 in Seattle

WASHINGTON — On Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, the Department of the Interior will hold the third and last in a series of consultation sessions on its Initial Implementation Plan outlining how Interior will carry out the land consolidation component of the historic Cobell Settlement. The meeting will take place in Seattle, Wash. The first and second consultation meetings were held Jan. 31 in Prior Lake, Minn., and Feb. 6 in Rapid City, S.D.

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Washburn Announces BIE’s Intent to Establish Committee to Evaluate Adequate Yearly Progress Regulations for Bureau-funded Schools

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced the Bureau of Indian Education’s (BIE) intent to establish a Committee to help evaluate and recommend revisions to regulations for determining Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for its schools under the No Child Left Behind Act. The BIE is also seeking comments on the proposal to establish this Committee and nominations for its membership by March 4, 2013.

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Statement From Billy Frank Jr. On Selection of Sally Jewell as Interior Secretary

"We are excited about President Obama's selection of Sally Jewell for Secretary of the Interior," says Chairman Billy Frank of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. "We think she's a great choice."

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President Obama to Honor Recipients of the 2012 Citizens Medal Recipients from across the country will visit the White House to receive Presidential award for exemplary service to their fellow citizens

WASHINGTON, DC – On February 15, 2013, President Obama will welcome to the White House the recipients of the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second-highest civilian honor.

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Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform to Hold Next Public Meeting Feb. 12-13 in Seattle

WASHINGTON – The Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform will hold its next public meeting Feb. 12-13, 2013, Seattle, Wash. The meeting will be preceded by a public youth-outreach session the evening of Feb. 11.

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Second Consultation Session on Interior’s Initial Implementation Plan for Cobell Land Consolidation Component to be Held Feb. 6 in Rapid City

WASHINGTON— On Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, the Department of the Interior will hold the second of three tribal consultation sessions on its Initial Implementation Plan outlining how Interior will carry out the land consolidation component of the historic Cobell Settlement. The meeting will take place in Rapid City, S.D., with the remaining session to be held Feb. 14 in Seattle, Wash. The first consultation meeting was held in Prior Lake, Minn., on Jan. 31.

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First Consultation Session on Interior’s Initial Implementation Plan for Cobell Land Consolidation Component to be Held Jan. 31

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, Jan. 31., 2013, the Department of the Interior will hold the first of three tribal consultation sessions on its Initial Implementation Plan outlining how Interior will carry out the land consolidation component of the historic Cobell Settlement. The first meeting will take place in Prior Lake, Minn., with the remaining sessions to be held Feb. 6 in Rapid City, S.D., and Feb. 14 in Seattle, Wash.

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