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Secretary Jewell to Deliver Keynote Remarks at National Congress of American Indians Annual Convention in Atlanta

On Tuesday, October 28, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will deliver keynote remarks at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Annual Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Deputy Secretary Connor Underscores President’s Commitment to Alaska Natives During Anchorage Visit

As part of President Obama’s commitment to help Alaska Native leaders build strong, prosperous and resilient communities, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Mike Connor today announced that Interior is launching initiatives to streamline Native land conveyances, improve rural energy development and provide greater local participation in the management of subsistence fish and wildlife resources on federal lands.

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Interior Announces $1.2 Million to Be Awarded to Tribes to Take Control, Operate Their Bureau of Indian Education-Funded Schools

As part of the Obama Administration’s historic commitment to ensure that all students attending Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)-funded schools receive a world-class education, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that six federally recognized tribes have been awarded $1.2 million in Sovereignty in Indian Education (SIE) enhancement funds to promote tribal control and operation of BIE-funded schools on their reservations. The funds implement a recommendation contained in the Blueprint for Reform of the Bureau of Indian Education issued on June 13, 2014, by the American Indian Education Study Group convened by Secretary Jewell and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

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Nearly 2,800 Landowners with Fractional Interests at Lake Traverse Indian Reservation Receive $63.5 Million in Purchase Offers through Interior’s Land Buy-Back Program

Building off of sustained momentum from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program), Deputy Secretary Mike Connor today announced that purchase offers worth more than $63.5 million have been sent to nearly 2,800 landowners with fractional interests on the Lake Traverse Indian Reservation in South Dakota (homeland of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate). Interested sellers will have until November 24, 2014, to return accepted offers.

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Interior Sends More than $298 Million in Purchase Offers to 4,000 Landowners with Fractional Interests at Crow Reservation in Montana

Deputy Secretary of the Interior Mike Connor today announced that the Department’s Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program) has sent purchase offers worth more than $298 million to nearly 4,000 landowners with fractional interests on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. Interested sellers will have until November 21, 2014, to return accepted offers.

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Assistant Secretary Washburn Announces $9.4 Million in Grants to Develop Tribal Energy and Mineral Resources

As part of President Obama’s commitment to working with Indian Country leaders to promote strong, prosperous and resilient tribal economies and communities, Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that more than $9.4 million has been awarded to 46 tribal projects to assist in developing energy and mineral resources.

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Interior Transfers Another $1 Million from Land Buy-Back Program to Cobell Education Scholarship Fund

The U.S. Department of the Interior today announced that an additional $1 million has been transferred to the Cobell Education Scholarship Fund, bringing the total transferred in 2014 to more than $4.5 million. The Scholarship Fund was authorized by the historic Cobell Settlement and is funded in part by the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program). The Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance through scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native students wishing to pursue post-secondary education and training.

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Assistant Secretary Washburn Announces Extended Comment Period for Proposed Rights-of-Way Rule to Nov. 3

WASHINGTON, DC – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that the Department of the Interior has extended to Nov. 3, 2014, the public comment period on proposed regulations to reform the process by which rights-of-way on Indian lands are approved and managed. He also announced the Department will hold an additional tribal consultation session on the proposed regulations during the week of Oct. 26, 2014, during the National Congress of American Indians 2014 Annual Convention in Atlanta, Ga.

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Secretary Jewell, Attorney General Holder Announce $554 Million Settlement Of Tribal Trust Accounting And Management Lawsuit Filed By Navajo Nation

Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced the settlement of a lawsuit filed by the Navajo Nation regarding the U.S. government’s management of funds and natural resources that it holds in trust for the Navajo Nation. The settlement resolves a long-standing dispute, with some of the claims dating back more than 50 years, and brings to an end protracted litigation that has burdened both the Navajo Nation and the United States.

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Interior, Justice Leaders to Join Navajo Nation to Announce Major Trust Settlement

As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to strengthen the government-to-government relationship with tribal nations and fulfill federal trust obligations, on Friday, September 26, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn and Acting Assistant Attorney General Sam Hirsch of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division will join Navajo Nation tribal leaders and members to announce a major tribal trust accounting settlement.

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Interior Offers More Than $9.4 Million to Nearly 1,800 Landowners with Fractional Interests at Umatilla Indian Reservation

Deputy Secretary of the Interior Mike Connor today announced that purchase offers have been sent to nearly 1,800 landowners with fractional interests on the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon as part of the Department of the Interior’s commitment to reduce fractionation and strengthen tribal sovereignty through its Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program).

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Land Buy-Back Program Tops $100 Million in Payments to American Indian Landowners with Fractionated Interests

Following Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell’s recent visit with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Mike Connor today announced that more than $8.3 million in purchase offers have been mailed to nearly 2,100 individual landowners with fractional interests on that reservation. This mailing will kick off several weeks of additional purchase offers to landowners who own fractional land interests on the Umatilla, Coeur d’Alene, Lake Traverse (homeland of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate) and Crow Indian Reservations.

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Interior Offers Nearly $100 Million to More Than 4,000 Landowners with Interests at Gila River and Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations to Reduce Fractionation of Tribal Lands

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior today announced that purchase offers have been sent to more than 4,000 individual landowners with fractional interests at the Gila River Indian Reservation in Arizona and the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana. These offers, totaling nearly $100 million, will give eligible landowners with interests in tribal priority tracts the opportunity to voluntarily sell their land to be held in trust for each tribe.

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Secretarial Jewell Issues Secretarial Order Affirming American Indian Trust Responsibilities

PABLO, Montana – As part of President Obama’s commitment to strengthen the government-to-government relationship with tribal nations and fulfill federal trust obligations, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today issued a Secretarial Order reaffirming the Department of the Interior’s trust responsibilities to federally-recognized Indian tribes and individual Indian beneficiaries and providing guidance for Interior agencies in carrying out their obligations to them.

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National Park Service Announces Grants to Help Native Americans Identify and Repatriate Human Remains, Cultural Objects

The National Park Service today announced more than $1.5 million in grants under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) to assist museums, Indian tribes, and Alaska native villages to document and return human remains and cultural objects to their native people.

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Secretary Jewell, Secretary Duncan to Visit Indian School in Maine

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to promote strong, prosperous and resilient communities, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will visit the Beatrice Rafferty School in Perry, Maine on Monday to discuss ongoing educational reform initiatives to ensure students attending schools funded by the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) receive a high quality education delivered by tribal nations.

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Interior Extends Comment Period on Proposed Federal Acknowledgment Reform

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn today announced an extension of the public comment period and additional tribal consultations and public meetings on proposed regulations to reform the process by which Interior formally and officially recognizes Indian tribes.

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Interior Department Announces $2.5 million to Promote Tribal Control and Operation of BIE-Funded Schools

As part of the Obama Administration’s historic commitment to ensure that all students attending Bureau of Indian Education-funded schools receive an effective education delivered to them by tribes, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that the BIE will fund $2.5 million in Sovereignty in Indian Education competitive grants. The purpose of these grants is to provide funding to federally recognized tribes and their tribal education departments to promote tribal control and operation of BIE-funded schools on their reservations.

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Secretary Jewell Announces new Tribal Climate Resilience Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and continued commitment to support Native American leaders in building strong, resilient communities, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn today announced the Administration has dedicated nearly $10 million this year to help tribes prepare for climate change through adaptation and mitigation. The Tribal Climate Resilience Program, which will be announced today at the fourth and final meeting of the White House State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, is part of a new initiative to work toward addressing the impacts of climate change already affecting tribal communities.

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Interior Transfers Nearly $3 Million from Land Buy-Back Program to Cobell Education Scholarship Fund

The Department of the Interior today announced that $2.9 million has been transferred to the Cobell Education Scholarship Fund. The Scholarship Fund was authorized by the historic Cobell Settlement and provides financial assistance through annual scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native students wishing to pursue post-secondary education and training.

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Interior Department Extends Deadline for Public Comment on Proposed Rule to Take Land into Trust for Alaska Native Tribes

Washington, D.C. — Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced an extension of the comment deadline on the proposed rule to accept applications to place land into trust in Alaska, in response to several requests for extension. The public may provide written comment through July 31, 2014. The proposed rule was announced earlier this year as part of President Obama’s commitment to upholding the nation’s trust responsibilities to American Indian and Alaska Natives.

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Office of Justice Services to Hold Fourth Tribal Court Trial Advocacy Training Session on June 23-26 in Albuquerque

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Justice Services (OJS) will hold its fourth trial advocacy training session of 2014 for tribal court personnel on June 23-26, 2014, in Albuquerque, N.M. This unique session widens the parameters of previous training sessions, by focusing on pre-trial writing and advocacy skills using a DUI fact pattern and the laws of the Navajo Nation.

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On the Heels of Historic Presidential Visit to Indian Country, Secretary Jewell Announces Interior Initiatives to Support Tribal-led Economic Development

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of President Obama’s commitment to support tribal self-governance and self-determination, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced a package of regulatory initiatives intended to help tribal leaders to spur investment opportunities and economic development in Indian Country.

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Assistant Secretary Washburn Announces New Initiative to Hire More American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans to Work for Indian Affairs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the heels of President Obama’s historic visit yesterday to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North and South Dakota, Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced the implementation of a new initiative to hire more American Indian and Alaska Native veterans to work for Indian Affairs.

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Secretary Jewell Announces Plan to Improve Achievement, Promote Tribal Control in Bureau of Indian Education-Funded Schools

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of the Obama Administration’s historic commitment to working with tribal leaders to address the challenges facing Indian Country, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced a plan to transform the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) and to ensure that all students attending BIE-funded schools receive a world-class education that is delivered to them by tribes.

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Assistant Secretary Washburn Announces Solicitation of Grant Proposals to Assess and Develop Tribal Energy and Mineral Resources

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) is soliciting grant proposals from federally recognized tribes for projects that promote the assessment and development of energy and mineral resources on Indian trust lands. IEED has $11 million available in FY 2014 for grants, which is a historic level of investment that will support tribes seeking to put their energy and mineral assets to work for their communities.

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Interior Signs Agreements with Three Additional Tribal Nations to Reduce Fractionation in Indian Country

Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael Connor today announced that the Department has signed three additional agreements to facilitate the purchase of individual interests in fractionated trust lands and consolidate ownership for the tribes with jurisdiction. Agreements with the Coeur D’Alene Tribe of the Coeur D’Alene Reservation (Idaho), Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (Ore.), and the Gila River Indian Community of the Gila River Indian Reservation (Ariz.) detail what each tribal government will do to help implement the Program, such as appraisals, owner outreach, and education.

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Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations under Cobell Settlement Listening Session Correction

The Office of the Secretary previously announced that it will conduct a listening session on the status of implementation of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations. The purpose of the session is to meet with Indian tribes to discuss progress to date and receive feedback. Indian landowners may also attend to provide input. This notice corrects the previously published notice to provide RSVP and testimony information and an agenda.

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Interior Proposes Reform of Federal Acknowledgment Regulations

Washington, D.C. — Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced publication of proposed regulations that would reform the 35-year old process by which the Department of the Interior officially recognizes Indian tribes. Federal acknowledgment establishes the U.S. Government as the trustee for Tribal lands and resources and makes Tribal members and governments eligible for federal budget assistance and program services.

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National Park Service Announces Grants to Help Native Americans Identify and Repatriate Human Remains, Cultural Objects

The National Park Service today announced nearly $40,000 in repatriation grants under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) to assist museums, Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations in returning ancestral human remains and cultural objects to their people.

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BIA Office of Justice Services to Hold Third Tribal Court Trial Advocacy Training Session in Helena, Mont.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Office of Justice Services (OJS) in collaboration with the United States Department of Justice, United States Attorney’s Office District of Montana, and the Montana Department of Justice will hold the third of its 2014 tribal court trial advocacy training sessions for tribal court personnel on May 19-22 in Helena, Montana. Reflecting unprecedented collaboration among Federal, State and Tribal groups, this session will focus on trial issues surrounding a charge of domestic violence and will also address issues on Human Trafficking, Child Protection and the duties of a Victim Specialist.

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Deputy Secretary Connor Announces Next Implementation Schedule for $1.9 Billion Land Buy-Back Program

Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael Connor today announced a schedule through 2015 for the continued implementation of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Program) that identifies locations representing more than half of all the fractional interests and half of all owners across Indian Country.

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Deputy Secretary Michael Connor to Discuss Next Steps in Implementation of Tribal Land Buy-Back Program

On Thursday, May 15, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael Connor will hold a news media teleconference to discuss the schedule for the continued implementation of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program) through the end of calendar year 2015. Connor will be joined by Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn.

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Secretary Jewell Announces Second Utility-Scale Solar Energy Project on American Indian Trust Land Approved

PHOENIX, Arizona – As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to build strong and prosperous tribal communities and the Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution and create clean energy jobs, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced the approval of the 200-megawatt Moapa Solar Energy Center Project on tribal trust land in Nevada and that nine federally recognized tribes have been awarded Tribal Energy Development Capacity grants totaling over $700,000.

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Statement of Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn on the Passing of Billy Frank Jr.

Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today issued the following statement on the passing of Billy Frank Jr., a member of the Nisqually Indian Tribe and chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission in Washington State:

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Secretary Jewell Statement on the Passing of Billy Frank, Jr.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today released the following statement on the passing of Billy Frank, Jr., a member of the Nisqually Indian Tribe and Chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

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Statement by the President on the Passing of Billy Frank, Jr.

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Billy Frank, Jr. – Chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission and a member of the Nisqually Indian Tribe.

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Secretary Jewell to Make Major Announcements Related to Tribal Energy Development

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution and create clean energy jobs, on Wednesday, May 7, 2014, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will make several major announcements related to energy development on tribal lands. The announcement will be held at the Heard Native American Museum at 1:00 pm MST.

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Secretary Jewell Convenes Third Meeting of the White House Council on Native American Affairs

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today convened the third meeting of the White House Council on Native American Affairs to discuss ongoing progress and current priorities aimed at working more collaboratively and effectively with American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes to advance their economic and social goals.

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Interior Department Invites Public Comment on Proposed Rule to Take Land into Trust for Alaska Native Tribes

As part of President Obama’s commitment to upholding the nation’s trust responsibilities to American Indian and Alaska Natives, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn today announced that the Interior Department is seeking public comment on a proposed rule that would allow the Secretary of the Interior to consider petitions from Alaska Native tribes to take land into trust.

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BIA Director Black to Keynote 23rd Annual Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Bureau of Indian Affairs Director Michael S. Black will deliver the keynote address at the 23rd Annual Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service on Thursday, May 1, 2014, at the BIA Indian Police Academy in Artesia, N.M. He will be accompanied by BIA Office of Justice Services (OJS) Deputy Bureau Director Darren Cruzan

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Secretary Jewell Underscores President's Commitment to Build Strong, Resilient Tribal Communities at Pacific Northwest Tribal Summit

KITSAP PENINSULA, Wash. – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today met with representatives of Pacific Northwest tribes to discuss federal efforts to address the economic, social and climate change challenges facing American Indian and Alaska Native governments and helping them to build strong, prosperous and resilient communities.

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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 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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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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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 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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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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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 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 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 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 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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Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform Webinar

Public Webinar Meeting #8

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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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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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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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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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