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Interior and Ahtna Intertribal Resource Commission Agree to Cooperative Wildlife Management Demonstration Project

ANCHORAGE – U.S. Department of the Interior Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor today signed an agreement with officials from the Ahtna Intertribal Resources Commission (AITRC) which coordinates natural resource management issues for the eight federally recognized tribes in the Ahtna region to create a cooperative wildlife management demonstration project on federal and Ahtna Corporation lands in Southcentral Alaska.

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Interior Department Officials to Remove Liens on Tribal Lands Returning More Than $14 Million in Proceeds to Tribes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of President Obama’s commitment to help American Indian leaders strengthen self-sufficiency and self-determination, U.S. Department of Interior officials will remove liens placed on thousands of acres of tribal lands acquired under the Indian Land Consolidation Act (ILCA) program and return the revenues generated by these liens to tribal communities to use for reacquiring tribal homelands. The announcement was made today by U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael Connor, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Lawrence S. Roberts, who leads the Office of the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs, and Michael S. Black, Senior Advisor to the BIA Director.

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Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Roberts Announces Applications Now Being Accepted for Indian Affairs Student Leadership Summer Institute 2017

WASHINGTON – Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts announced today that applications to the Indian Affairs Student Leadership Summer Institute, a 10-week paid internship for post-secondary Native students now in its second year, are being accepted for 2017. The deadline for applications is November 30, 2016.

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Interior Department Taps Experienced Leaders for Key Positions in Indian Affairs and Education

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Lawrence S. Roberts, who leads the Office of the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs, today announced new leadership for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). Weldon ‘Bruce’ Loudermilk will succeed Michael S. Black as Director of the BIA and Tony Dearman will be the new Director of the BIE.

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Secretary Jewell Issues Secretarial Order to Encourage Tribal Role in Managing Interior Lands with Native American Connections

FAIRBANKS, Alaska – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced a Secretarial Order encouraging cooperative management opportunities between the Department’s land and water managers and federally-recognized tribes. The Secretarial Order sets out a framework to ensure that Native communities have the opportunity to assume meaningful and substantive roles in managing public lands that have special geographical, historical and cultural connections to the tribes.

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Interior Department Announces Broader Plan to Review Management of Lands in Northwestern New Mexico

WASHINGTON -- To address concerns regarding mineral leasing and development activity adjacent to Chaco Culture National Historic Park, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael L. Connor today announced the U.S. Department of the Interior will expand the resource management planning effort underway in the Farmington, New Mexico area.

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Roberts Announces Partnership for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on October 22

WASHINGTON – Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. “Larry” Roberts today announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Justice Services (OJS) is once again partnering with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which will take place on Saturday, October 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. local time. OJS is working with tribal law enforcement agencies to implement Take-Back Day in their jurisdictions.

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Roberts Announces Publication of Final, Updated BIA Model Indian Juvenile Code

WASHINGTON – Furthering President Obama’s Generation Indigenous (“Gen-I”) and Tiwahe initiatives that support American Indian and Alaska Native families and strengthen tribal communities, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts today announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has published the final updated version of its 2016 Model Indian Juvenile Code, which was originallyissued in 1988 – almost 30 years ago.

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Obama Administration Exceeds Ambitious Goal to Restore 500,000 Acres of Tribal Homelands

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. “Larry” Roberts today announced that the Obama Administration has exceeded its goal of placing half a million acres of tribal homelands into trust for federally recognized tribes.

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Joint Statement from The Department of Justice, The Department of the Army and The Department of the Interior Regarding Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

WASHINGTON - The Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior issued the following statement regarding Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

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Statement of Office of the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Regarding Law Enforcement Services at Standing Rock Indian Reservation

"The Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services respects the rights of tribes and citizens to express their views in a peaceful and lawful manner."

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Roberts Announces Extension of Submission Date for BIE Accountability NRC Nominations

WASHINGTON – Lawrence S. Roberts, who is leading the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs, announced today that the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) has extended its deadline for nominations of qualified individuals to serve on a negotiated rulemaking committee (NRC) that will recommend revisions to its school accountability system. Nominees are being sought from federally recognized tribes whose students attend BIE-funded schools.

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Robert's Announces $8.7 Million in Climate Adaption, Ocean and Coastal Funding Awards

WASHINGTON – Lawrence S. Roberts, who is leading the Office of the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs, announced today awards of $8.7 million to 63 federally recognized tribes and tribally chartered organizations under the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Tribal Climate Resilience Program. The awards will support tribally based efforts to address climate change and its effects on tribal lands and resources.

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Acting Assistant Secretary Roberts Announces $947,000 in Tribal Economic Development Feasibility Study Grants

WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts announced today that the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) has awarded business development grants totaling $947,406 to 20 federally recognized tribes and one Alaska Native corporation. The awards from IEED’s Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) Feasibility Study Program will enable tribal leaders to better evaluate and identify viable economic opportunities for their communities.

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Acting Assistant Secretary Roberts Announces Updates to BIA Handbook to Improve Land-into-Trust and Reservation Proclamation Processes

WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts announced today that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has improved its Fee-to-Trust Handbook to reduce the processing time for requests from federally recognized tribes to have land taken into trust for their benefit and proclamations that declare the lands are part of their tribal reservations. Under the revised guidance, these requests may now be submitted simultaneously.

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Acting Assistant Secretary Roberts Announces Approval of $23.5 Million Loan Guarantee for Navajo Tribal Utility Authority

WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant Secretary –Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts today announced the approval of a $23.5 million loan guarantee to the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) that will allow it to acquire a greater ownership interest in NTUA Wireless, LLC, a telecommunications services company serving the Navajo Nation. The company is a partnership of NTUA and Commnet Wireless, a rural wireless service provider based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Bureau of Indian Affairs Reinstates Osage Leasing Regulation

WASHINGTON – Bureau of Indian Affairs Director Michael S. Black today announced that the BIA is publishing a rule to ensure that the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) reflects the effective operative version of 25 CFR Part 226, which addresses the leasing of Osage reservation lands in Oklahoma for oil and gas mining.

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Acting Assistant Secretary Roberts Announces Launch of BIA's Tribal Leaders Directory as a Searchable Electronic Map

WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts today announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ popular publication, the Tribal Leaders Directory, is now available as an electronic searchable map. The map provides up-to-date contact information for the nation’s 567 federally recognized tribes and all BIA regional offices and agencies. The map can be accessed via the bia.gov and indianaffairs.gov websites using the Tribal Leaders Directory link.

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Secretary Jewell Joins Spokane Tribal Leaders to Mark Community's Selection as a Presidential Promise Zone

SPOKANE, WA – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today joined leaders of the Spokane Tribe of Indians in Washington State to commemorate the tribe’s selection as a Promise Zone, which was announced by President Obama on June 6 as part of the third and final round of Promise Zone designations. The competitively-awarded designation provides custom tailored federal support for Spokane tribal leaders to address locally-defined revitalization goals, including creating jobs through investments in renewable energy, housing construction and technology centers, and reducing crime by revising an antiquated law and order code and implementing a community policing strategy, among other strategies.

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Acting Assistant Secretary Roberts Issues Final Regulations to Strengthen Implementation of the Indian Child Welfare Act Focusing on Family Unification

WASHINGTON– Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts today announced final, updated measures to protect the rights of Indian children, their parents and their tribes in state child welfare proceedings. The measures, comprised in a final rule announced today, will support the stability and security of Indian families and tribes by providing a more consistent interpretation of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), regardless of the child welfare worker, judge or state involved.

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New Mexico Attorney General, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Tribal Law Enforcement, Service Providers & Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women Work to Combat Human Trafficking on Native American Lands

Albuquerque, NM – This week, prosecutors and special agents from the Office of the Attorney General joined the Bureau of Indian Affairs, tribal law enforcement agencies, service providers and the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women (CSVANW) to combat human trafficking on Native American lands in New Mexico. The working conference, Sex Trafficking in Indian Country, demonstrates the critical importance of federal, state and tribal entities working together with service providers to attack human trafficking and protect victims on tribal lands in New Mexico.

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BIA Director Michael Black to Keynote 25th Annual Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service

WASHINGTON – Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Director Michael S. Black will deliver the keynote address at the 25th Annual Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service being held Thursday, May 5, 2016, at the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Indian Police Academy in Artesia, N.M. He will be accompanied by BIA Office of Justice Services Deputy Bureau Director Darren Cruzan.

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Acting Assistant Secretary Lawrence Roberts Announces $9.1 Million Available for Tribal Energy and Economic Development Projects

WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts announced today the availability of approximately $9.1 million for three funding opportunities for federally recognized Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages, Alaska Native regional or village corporations, authorized tribal organizations, and Tribal Energy Resource Development Organizations.

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Acting BIE Director Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes to Speak at SIPI's 2016 Commencement Ceremony on April 15

WASHINGTON – Acting Bureau of Indian Education Director Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes will address the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute’s (SIPI) graduating class of 2016 at a commencement ceremony on Friday, April 15, at the SIPI campus in Albuquerque, N.M.

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Interior Department Transfers Nearly $5 Million to Cobell Education Scholarship Fund

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior today announced that an additional $4.8 million has been transferred to the Cobell Education Scholarship Fund (Scholarship Fund), bringing the total amount contributed so far to almost $39 million. The Scholarship Fund – funded in part by the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program) and authorized by the Cobell Settlement – provides financial assistance through scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native students wishing to pursue post-secondary and graduate education and training.

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Acting Assistant Secretary Roberts Announces Bureau of Indian Education School Replacement Program Selections

WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts announced today the 10 Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools eligible for funding for campus-wide replacement. Publication of this list completes the process for identifying the Department’s top priority schools for campus-wide replacement developed through negotiated rulemaking required by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

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Interior Announces Interagency Partnership with Justice and HHS to Strengthen ICWA Implementation and Compliance

ST. PAUL, MINN. – In keeping with President Obama’s commitment to supporting Indian families and fostering resilient, thriving tribal communities through his all-of-government approach, acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts today announced that the Departments of Interior (DOI), Justice (DOJ), and Health and Human Services (HHS) have entered into a collaborative agreement to ensure more robust compliance with and implementation of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978 (Public Law 95-608). The agreement, in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), brings three federal agencies together in partnership to strengthen federal oversight of the Act. The MOU’s effective date is April 1, 2016.

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Indian Affairs Announces $6.5 Million for Tribal Climate Change Adaptation and Ocean and Coastal Management Planning Projects

WASHINGTON — As part of the Obama Administration’s effort to prepare communities nationwide for the impacts of a changing climate, acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts today announced that Indian Affairs will provide nearly $6.5 million to fund tribal projects that promote climate change adaptation and ocean and coastal management planning.

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First BIA Training of 2016 in Preparing, Preserving and Presenting Evidence of Child Abuse and Neglect to be Held March 8-10 in Tucson

WASHINGTON – In partnership with the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) will hold its first tribal court training of 2016 on March 8-10. The training is designed specifically for social workers and tribal court presenters in the preparation, preservation and presentation of evidence in child welfare cases. The first session will be held at the Tribe’s Casino Del Sol Conference Center and Resort in Tucson, Ariz. Additional training dates and locations will be announced at a later date.

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Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Roberts Announces Critical Child Welfare Training for Tribes and Tribal Courts

WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts today announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), in partnership with the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, will hold a landmark training program in 2016 designed specifically for social workers and tribal court presenters in the preparation, preservation and presentation of evidence in child welfare cases.

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Interior, Justice and HHS Departments Announce Revised BIA Model Indian Juvenile Code

WASHINGTON – Furthering President Obama’s efforts to support American Indian and Alaska Native families and protect tribal communities, Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts; U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Administrator Robert L. Listenbee; and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Acting Administrator Kana Enomoto today announced a draft revised BIA Model Indian Juvenile Code. The Departments are seeking public comment on the draft, which will be the subject of listening and consultation sessions scheduled for March and April of 2016.

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Acting Assistant Secretary Roberts Announces Launch of the Indian Affairs 2016 Student Leadership Summer Institute for Native Students

WASHINGTON – As part of President Obama’s Generation Indigenous (“Gen-I”) initiative to remove barriers to success for Native Youth, Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts today announced the launch of the 2016 Indian Affairs Student Leadership Summer Institute, a paid 10-week summer internship program with the agency that begins in early June.

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President Obama’s FY 2017 Budget Request for Indian Affairs Increases Funding That Supports Strong, Resilient Tribal Nations For Today and Future Generations

WASHINGTON – President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget request for Indian Affairs, which includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), reflects the Administration’s all-of-government approach to meeting the federal government’s responsibilities to the nation’s 567 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and building on the commitment to promote strong, resilient nations for today and for future generations.

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President Obama Proposes $13.4 Billion Budget for Interior Department

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget request of $13.4 billion for the Department of the Interior reflects the Administration’s commitment to investing in communities, building partnerships and using science and innovation to create economic opportunities and sustain our natural, cultural and historic resources for future generations.

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Secretary Jewell Announces Obama Administration's Largest Land into Trust Acquisition for Tribal Nations

ISLETA PUEBLO, N.M. – As part of President Obama’s goal of placing half a million acres of tribal homelands into trust for the benefit of tribal nations, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs has placed 89,978 acres of land into trust status for the Pueblo of Isleta. The Administration’s single largest trust acquisition to date brings to nearly 400,000 the total acreage placed in trust on behalf of federally recognized tribes since 2009.

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Secretary Jewell Highlights Budget Gains to Finish Previously Identified BIE School Construction Projects

RED VALLEY, Ariz. – On the heels of President Obama’s State of the Union address where he committed to focusing on challenges and opportunities that will impact America for generations to come – including in Indian Country – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced $45 million to build the last previously identified Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) school construction projects. The schools slated to receive funding are the final two of 14 identified in 2004 by the Bush Administration as requiring the greatest need for replacement construction but never received Congressional funding.

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Secretary Jewell to Visit Indian Country to Highlight BIE School Reform Success, Make Major Announcement on Restoration of Tribal Homelands

WASHINGTON – Following President Obama’s State of the Union address, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will travel to Indian Country with stops in Arizona and New Mexico. Secretary Jewell will mark continued progress in the transformation of the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) school process and make an historic announcement on the restoration of tribal homelands.

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Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Lawrence Roberts Approves Ohkay Owingeh's HEARTH Act Leasing Regulations

WASHINGTON – In keeping with President Obama’s commitment to tribal self-governance and strengthening tribal economies, acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts today announced that Ohkay Owingeh now has the sovereign authority to lease tribal lands consistent with the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (or HEARTH) Act. Roberts was joined by Ohkay Owingeh Governor Earl N. Salazar and United States Senator Martin Heinrich at a signing ceremony approving the tribe’s leasing regulations that took place yesterday at the Pueblo in New Mexico.

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