Media Contact: Beaver 343-6031
For Immediate Release: February 1, 1980

A Special two man negotiating team has been appointed by Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Sid Mills to help settle the current governmental crisis on the Red Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota

The team members are former Bureau of Indian Affairs Commissioner Robert L. Bennett and Graham Holmes, a retired BIA official. Holmes will be dispatched immediately to Red Lake to begin consulting and planning with the tribal governing body, the petitioners and other Red Lake citizens.

In a telegram to Tribal Chairman Roger Jourdain, Mills said, "I am appointing a special two man team to work with you and the council as well as with the petitioners and other segments of the Red Lake population in an effort to reach agreement among differing Red Lake factions and make recommendations leading to remedies of the immediate problems that plague the reservation during the current governmental crisis.

"The special two man team will have the full faith, trust and backing of my office. They will report directly to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs. In view of our decision to appoint the above team, the ten day deadline for council action imposed in Assistant Secretary Gerard's wire of January 16 is temporarily lifted pending a report and recommendations from the Bennett-Holmes team.

"The continued recognition of the present tribal government will depend upon your full cooperation and good faith efforts in working with this special team and taking of appropriate action on matters at issue. I reserve the right at any time, however, to withdraw recognition on twenty-four hour notice if such cooperation is not forthcoming from the council."