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News by Year

Press Release

The Indian Arts and Crafts Board of the Department of the Interior announced today the first set of four awards which will hereafter be made annually "in recognition of long and outstanding services in the preservation, encouragement and development of the arts and crafts of the American Indians."

The 1958 awards, consisting of certificates of appreciation, are being presented today in Gallup, New Mexico. Recipients, and the categories for which they won, include:

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay announced the details of a proposed $10,000 program under the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1954 to improve and maintain roads on Indian reservations in 24 states.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today approved a series of recommendations Lade by a Survey Team which has been studying the organization and operations of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

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Press Release

Appointment of Halter O. Olson as superintendent of the Mescalero Agency, Mescalero, N. Mex., was announced today by Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay. Mr. Olson succeeds Lonnie Hardin who was transferred to Fort Apache Agency as reservation principal.

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Press Release

Transfer of Benjamin Reifel from the superintendency of the Fort Berthold Indian Agency, New Town, N. Dak., to the superintendency at Pine Ridge Agency, Pine Ridge, S. Dak., was announced today by Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay.

At Pine Ridge Mr. Reifel replaces Ole H. Sande who has requested transfer to educational position with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, IU.s new assignment has not yet been determined. Ralph Shane, supervising highway engineer, at Fort Berthold will serve as acting superintendent pending selection of Mr. Reifel’s successor.

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Press Release

Leon V. Langan, assistant to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, was today designated by Commissioner Glenn L, Emmons to act as his representative in putting into effect the recommendations for reorganization recently made by the survey team which studied the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Mr. Langan will begin this assignment immediately.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today said the Department has submitted for congressional consideration a series of bills providing for orderly termination of Federal administration of Indian Affairs in eight tribal jurisdictions.

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Press Release

Appointment of William H. Olsen, Anchorage, Alaska, as director of the Juneau Area Office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, sometimes known as the Alaska Native Service, was announced today by Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay. Mr. Olsen succeeds Hugh J. Wade who was relieved of responsibilities as Area Director last November.

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Press Release

Transfer of 603.2 acres of land in Sawyer County, Wisconsin, together with the buildings, from jurisdiction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to the Wisconsin Department of Public Welfare was announced today by Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay.

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Press Release

In moving to take over the management of Alaska Native Industries Cooperative Association, Seattle, Wash., during recent weeks, the Department of the Interior has acted to protect the financial interests of the United States and the operating interests of stores of the native villages of Alaska, Secretary Douglas McKay said today.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today announced organizational changes in the New Mexico offices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs based on recommendations by the survey team which recently completed a study of the Bureau as well as information and advice received from the Indians, individuals and organizations of the communities affected.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today announced several major personnel shifts in the Bureau of Indian Affairs as part of the administrative reorganization of the Bureau recently recommended by a survey team and now actively under way.

Allan G. Harper, area director at Window Hock, Arizona, is being transferred to Washington as a member of the Commissioner's coordinating staff, where his broad background of experience in Indian Affairs and intimate knowledge of Navajo administration will be directly available to Commissioner Glenn L. Emmons.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay has instructed three Department of the Interior officials to meet in Portland, March 10, to ascertain the facts in a complaint raised by Indians of the Warm Springs Reservation they are not getting fair prices for the timber sold from their lands.

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Press Release

Louis C. Peters, former manager of the Alaska Native Industries Cooperative Association, against whom removal action was initiated by the Department of Justice, has offered to settle his dispute with the Government for $2,500, Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay disclosed today.

Under the terms of the settlement, Peters would surrender his office and deliver all properties of ANICA and its premises to an authorized representative of the Department of the Interior. Peters would also relinquish all claims against either the United States or ANICA.

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Press Release

Reduced Federal participation in Indian affairs was established as the goal of national policy and progress toward this objective was achieved along many lines during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1953, according to annual report of Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay released today.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay announced the appointment of Guy C. Williams as Superintendent of the United Pueblos Indian Agency, Albuquerque, N. Mex., effective April 1.

The appointment results from the recently announced reorganization of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Mr. Williams since 1950 has been assistant director of the Albuquerque Area Office which is being discontinued. He will head the agency headquarters at Albuquerque which serves the 19 Indian Pueblos of the Rio Grande Valley.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today announced that the Hopi Indian Agency, located on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona, will report administratively to the Phoenix Area Office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This change has been vigorously sought by Senator Barry Goldwater for some time because of his feeling that the interests and orientation of the Hopi Indians are toward Arizona. Hopi trading activity since the days of the early settlers has centered in communities south of their reservation, and they find employment, attend schools and hospitals in these communities.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today announced that the Crow Creek Indian Agency, now located at Fort Thompson, S. Dak., will be moved to Chamberlain, S. Dak., in the near future. While the exact date of the move has not yet been determined, it will have to be made before summer when water backed up by the Fort Randall Dam will create serious problems at the present agency site.

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Press Release

Clyde W. Pensoneau, a member of the Indian Bureau staff at the Colorado River Agency, Parker, Arizona, will become superintendent of the Hopi Agency, Keams Canyon, Arizona, on May 23, Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay announced today.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today announced four personnel changes in the Bureau of Indian Affairs as part of the general reorganization of the agency, which has been proceeding for several months.

The transfers follow:

Raymond H. Bitney, superintendent, Western Washington, Everett, Wash., to same post at Menominee Agency, Neopit, Wisconsin, Effective June 6.

Melvin L. Robertson, superintendent, Northern Idaho, Lapwai, Idaho, replaces Bitney. Effective May 23.

Frell M. Owl, superintendent, Red Lake, Minn., replaces Robertson. Effective May 23.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay announced today he had signed two orders adjusting prices received by the Warm Springs Indians for the sale of timber on their reservation.

Under the order the Indians will receive approximate1y $250,000 additional income each year for the timber cut.

The Warm Springs Lumber Company will henceforth pay $26 a thousand board feet as compared to $16 it now pays. The Philip Dahl Company will pay $18 a thousand board feet instead of the $13 it now pays.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs will continue for the present operating its two area offices in Oklahoma at Muskogee and Anadarko.

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Press Release

Appointment of Robert L. Bennett, a member of the coordinating staff of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, as superintendent of the Consolidated Ute Agency, Ignacio, Colo., was announced today by Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay.

Elbert J. Floyd, whom Mr. Bennett replaces, has been designated as administrative officer in charge of a new area field office to be established by the Bureau at Zuni, N. Mex.

Both moves are part of the current reorganization of the Bureau and are effective June 6.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs on or before June 15 will conduct a poll by mail among members of the Choctaw Tribe of Oklahoma in order to have an expression of their views regarding the selection of a principal chief. The term of the present principal chief expires June 30.

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Press Release

Three additional personnel moves involved in the reorganization of the Bureau of Indian Affairs were announced today by Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay.

W. Wendell Palmer, superintendent, Wind River Agency, Fort Washakie, Wyo., will be transferred to the same position at Klamath Agency, Oreg., replacing Erastus J. Diehl who retires June 30. Glenn R. Landbloom, Bureau extension and credit officer at Aberdeen, s. Pak., will replace Palmer. Both transfers are effective June 13.

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Press Release

Commissioner Glenn L. Emmons of the Bureau of Indian Affairs announced today that the museum of the Northern Plains Indians at Browning, Montana, will continue to be operated by the Bureau without any change except a reduction in staff required by reduced appropriations for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

It had been proposed to transfer management responsibility for the museum to the Arts and Crafts Board, created in the Department of the Interior by the act of August 27, 1935 (49 Stat. 891).

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today announced the award of four contracts for the construction of school facilities on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona and New Mexico. The total amount of the awards is $1,647,791.

This is the first step in the development of the Navajo Emergency Educational Program.

The awards are as follows:

Under base proposal No, 2 for the Pinon and Kaibito projects to L. C. Anderson, San Diego, Calif.

$421,000

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today announced the appointment of Richard Do Butts as superintendent of the Red Lake Agency, Bureau of Indian Affairs, at Red Lake, Minn. Butts will be succeeded as superintendent at the Umatilla Agency, Pendleton, Oregon by Clarence W. Ringey realty assistant at Consolidated Chippewa Agency, Case Lake, Minn.

Butts succeeds Frell M. Owl who was recently transferred as Red Lake superintendent to the same position at the Northern Idaho Agency, Lapwai, Idaho.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay will arrive in Anchorage, Alaska, on July 17, for a ten-day inspection tour of the Territory.

In addition to surveying the Department’s Alaskan activities, the itinerary has been planned to provide for meeting with government personnel and with Alaska business groups, natives and other citizens.

Mrs. McKay will accompany the Secretary on the tour which will end on July 27. William Strand, director of the Office of Territories, Department of the Interior, which has immediate supervision of Alaskan affairs, will also be in the party.

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Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs is launching today a greatly expanded disease prevention program designed to bring the benefits of modern sanitation and personal hygiene directly into Indian homes and communities in the Western States and in the native villages of Alaska.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs will make a further study of the hospitalization of Indians of the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming next September if the Bureau is then still responsible for the Indian health program. Under the provisions of H.R. 303, now under active consideration by Congress, responsibilities for Indian health protection would be transferred from the Bureau to the United States Public Health Service.

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Press Release

Promotion of Perry E. Skarra from the superintendency of the Yakima Indian Agency., Toppenish, Wash., to the position of assistant area director for the Bureau of Indian Affairs at Portland, Oreg., and appointment of Dannie E. L. Crone, soil conservationist with the Bureau at Window Rock, Ariz., as the new Yakima superintendent were announced today by Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay. The changes will be effective July 25.

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Press Release

Arthur N. Arntson, finance officer for the Bureau of Indian Affairs at Aberdeen, S. Dak,., has been appointed superintendent of the Wind River Agency, Fort Washakie, Wyo., Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay announced today. The transfer is effective July 18. He replaces W. Wendell Palmer who was transferred on June 13 to the superintendency at Klamath Agency, Oreg. Glenn R. Landbloom, previously announced as the new Wind River superintendent, will remain in the Aberdeen area office as assistant area director in charge of resources.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today announced the opening of a new national headquarters for the Buildings and Utilities Branch of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Albuquerque, N. Mex.

The new office, which will supervise all construction activities of the Bureau) is being staffed with construction personnel drawn from the Bureau's central office in Washington, D. C. and from area offices throughout the country. When fully staffed, it will consist of 37 technical and 15 clerical or administrative employees.

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Press Release

National headquarters for the Indian Bureau's relocation program, involving guidance and help for Indian workers and their families seeking to establish new homes away from the reservations, will be moved on August 1 from Washington, D. c., to Denver, Colo. Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay announced today.

Charles F. Miller, Chief of the Bureau’s Branch of Relocation for the past two years, will continue to direct the program from Denver. However, Charles B. Rovin, Assistant Chief of the Branch, will remain in Washington as a liaison with the Bureau's Central Office.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today announced the appointment of Harwood Keaton, Okmulgee, Oklahoma, effective July 18, as assistant area director for the Bureau of Indian Affairs at Muskogee, Oklahoma.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today announced the Bureau of Indian Affairs has contracted with Cornell University Medical College, New York City, for the services of a physician specializing in diseases of the chest as a full-time staff member at the Navajo Medical Center, Fort Defiance, Arizona.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today announced four personnel changes, effective September 1, in agency superintendent positions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Guy Robertson, superintendent of the Blackfeet Agency, Browning, Mont., will be transferred to the superintendency at Rosebud, S. Dak., replacing Will J. Pitner, recently assigned as Bureau area director at Anadarko, Oklahoma.

Charles S. Spencer, superintendent at Standing Rock Agency, Fort Yates, N. Dak., succeeds Robertson.

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Press Release

Action by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to clear up a 49-year-old injustice against a full blood Idaho Indian was announced today by Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay.

The Indian is James J. Miles, a 70-year-old member of the Nez Perce Tribe and

Deacon of the Presbyterian Church, The Bureau's action, taken by Commissioner Glenn L. Emmons on July 29, was approval of an application filed by Miles about a year ago for a patent-in-fee or unrestricted title to a 114-acre tract near Orofino,

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Press Release

Three separate actions affecting the office of principal chief of the Choctaw, Seminole and Cherokee Indian Tribes of Oklahoma, were announced today by Acting Secretary of the Interior Ralph A. Tudor.

A run-off election will be held by the Bureau of Indian Affairs between September 20 and October 10 so that members of the Choctaw Tribe many express their preferences between Harry J. W. Belvin and Hampton w. Anderson, who received the highest number of votes in the balloting held last June. Mr. Belvin has been principal chief of the tribe for the past several years.

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Press Release

Distribution of tribal funds to individual members of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin under Public Law 399, approved June 17, is going forward smoothly and satisfactorily, Acting Secretary of the Interior Ralph A. Tudor announced today.

The enactment which establishes a program for terminating Federal supervision over Menominee affairs before the end of 1958, also provides for an immediate payment of $1,500 to each tribal member from Menominee funds on deposit in the United states Treasury.

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Press Release

Appointment of Robert J. Trier as chief of the branch of roads, Bureau of Indian Affairs succeeding J. Maughs Brown, who retires August 31, was announced today by Acting Secretary of the Interior Ralph A. Tudor.

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Press Release

Acting Secretary of the Interior Ralph A. Tudor today announced that investigation of the 10-year lease of 860.3 acres on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation by Arthur R. Hubbard, Pocatello, Idaho, reveals no grounds for cancellation.

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Press Release

Persons claiming Menominee Indian blood have until September 17 for filing applications to have their names added to the present tribal roll, Acting Secretary Fred G. Aandahl said today. Applications should be filed with the Menominee Tribe, in care of the Superintendent, Neopit, Wisconsin.

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Press Release

A $3,000,000 program of public school expansion to accommodate nearly 3,000 Navajo Indian children by September 1955, in communities of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado bordering the Navajo Reservation was announced today by Acting Secretary of the Interior Fred G. Aandahl.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today announced that the Crow Creek Indian Agency now located at Fort Thompson, South Dakota, will be moved about December 1, to Pierre, S. Dak.

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Press Release

Promotion of Harry L. Stevens from the position of superintendent, Papago Indian Agency, Sells, Arizona, to assistant area director for the Bureau of Indian Affairs at Phoenix, was announced today by Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay.

Albert M. Hawley, reservation principal at San Carlos Agency, San Carlos, Ariz., succeeds Stevens at Papago.

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Press Release

Consolidation of the two Minnesota Indian agencies, now located at Cass Lake and Red Lake, in a new headquarters at Bemidji on December 1 was announced today by Commissioner of Indian Affairs Glenn L. Emmons.

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Press Release

The Alaska Native Service of the Bureau of Indian Affairs has completed arrangements for hospitalizing 290 Alaska native tuberculosis patients under contract in the Laurel Beach, Riverton and Firlands State Sanatoria at Seattle, Wash., Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay announced today.

Movement of the patients from Anchorage, the Territorial collecting point, by plane to Seattle will begin shortly and will involve about 75 patients during the remainder of the month.

The same number will be moved in November and December and the final group of 65 in January 1955.

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Press Release

Substantial progress in the Department's program to provide educational facilities for 22,000 Navajo children during this school year is being made, Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay said today.

As of October 15 about 19,000 children are enrolled in public, Federal and mission schools, both on and off the reservation.

Expansion of reservation schools scheduled for completion in November will accommodate another 1,500 children.

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Press Release

Promotion of Theodore B. Hall from the position of Superintendent, Osage Indian Agency, Pawhuska., Oklahoma, to Assistant Area Director for the Indian Bureau at Gallup, New Mexico, effective October 30, was announced today by Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay.

A successor to Mr. Hall at Osage Agency has not yet been selected.

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Press Release

Appointment of Peru Farver, a veteran of 44 years' service with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, to head the Bureau's work in tribal affairs was announced today by Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay.

Mr. Farver, a Choctaw Indian, first entered the Bureau service in 1910 as a teacher at Union Agency, Muskogee, Okla., and has been superintendent at Fort Hall Agency, Fort Hall, Idaho, since August 1953. In the years between he held a variety of assignments and was superintendent at Tomah Agency, S. Dak.; Red Lake, Minn.; Cheyenne River, S. Dak., and Belcourt, N. Dak.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today announced three important personnel moves in the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Russell G. Fister will transfer from the position of assistant area director, Minneapolis, Minn., to be superintendent at Osage Agency, Pawhuska, Okla., effective November 27. He will succeed Theodore B. Hall whose transfer to the position of assistant area director, Gallup, New Mexico, was recently announced.

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Press Release

Appointment of Harold W. Schunk as superintendent of the Turtle Mountain Indian Agency, Belcourt, N. Dak., succeeding Knute H. Lee, who transfers to the Indian Bureau's Aberdeen, S. Dak. area office as director of schools, was announced today by Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay. Both moves are effective November 21.

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Press Release

Reappointment of Harry J. W. Belvin, Durant, Oklahoma, as principal chief of the Oklahoma Choctaw Indian Nation for a four year term was announced today by Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay.

Belvin, who was first appointed to the position in 1948, was renamed on the basis of balloting by the tribal members from September through October 10. In the tribal election he received 5,254 votes and his opponent, Hampton Anderson of Atoka, 2,602.

Tribal members also expressed a preference for the four-year term by a margin of roughly two to one.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today announced that James N. Lowe will transfer December 1 from the Washington staff of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to the Sacramento, Calif., area office where he will take over the duties formerly performed by Assistant Area Director Henry Harris, Jr., who resigned from the Bureau on November 9.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today announced that membership rolls will be required for the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians under recently enacted legislation providing for termination of Federal supervision over the property and affairs of western Oregon Indians in the next two years.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today announced an administrative realignment in the Bureau of Indian Affairs which will bring the Cherokee Agency, Cherokee, N. C., on December 1, under direct supervision of the central office in Washington, D. C.

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Press Release

Evan L. Flory, Chief of the Branch of Land Operations, Bureau of Indian Affairs, was named a fellow of the Soil Conservation Society of America at the Society's annual meeting in Jacksonville, Fla., on November 16, Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay announced today.

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Press Release

Christian H. Beitzel will replace Robert B. McKee as superintendent of the Crow Creek Indian Agency in South Dakota when the agency moves from Fort Thompson to Pierre on December 1, Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay announced today.

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Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs today made public an exchange of letters between Commissioner Glenn L. Emmons and Mr. Reuben Olson, director of public relations, Anselm Forum, Inc., Gary, Indiana.

The correspondence deals with basic questions of Indian affairs policy on which there has been widespread public misunderstanding. The text of the two letters follows:

ANSELM FORUM INC. Gary, Indiana

Bureau of Indian Affairs November 1, 1954

Washington, D. C.

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Press Release

The first step in a "pilot" operation to test the feasibility of contracting for food service in Indian Bureau schools will begin at Cherokee Agency, Cherokee, N. C., on January 17 when Cleaves Food Service, Washington, D. C., takes over the job of providing noonday lunches at the five schools under the agency, Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay announced today.

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Press Release

In a resolution commending the Eisenhower Administration's program to provide school facilities for reservation children, the Navajo Tribal Council declared that for the "first time in American history since the Treaty of 1868 the Congress of the United States has taken effective action to provide adequate schools for Navajos."

The Navajo emergency education program, which is designed to put every Navajo child of school age in school within two years, has had the personal support of President Eisenhower and Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today announced that the Indian Bureau's School of Practical Nursing now located at Lawton, Okla., will be transferred in early February to Albuquerque, N. Mex., where much more extensive training facilities are available.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay today announced that the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation, located in southeastern California, just north of Yuma, Arizona, will be transferred on January 1 from the jurisdiction of the Indian Bureau office at Sacramento, California, to the area office at Phoenix, Ariz.

The move is being made primarily because of specialties which the Fort Yuma Indians have with other Indian groups on the Arizona side of the Colorado River.

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Press Release

Three career employees have been selected by the Bureau of Indian Affairs for management training under the executive development agreement recently negotiated between the Department of the Interior and the Civil Service Commission, Secretary Douglas McKay announced today. They are: Carl J. Cornelius, relocation officer, Consolidated Chippewa Agency, Cass Lake, Minn.; Grover C. Gardner, supervising loan examiner, Anadarko Area Office, Anadarko, Okla.; and Richard D. Butts, superintendent, Red Lake Agency, Red Lake, Minn.

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Press Release

Promotion of Elmo F. Miller on January 16 from the position of agricultural extension agent at the Colville Indian Agency, Nespelem, Wash., to the job of superintendent of the Northern Idaho Agency, Lapwai, Idaho, was announced today by Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay.

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Press Release

Further reduction of Federal responsibilities in Indian affairs and a sharper focusing of attention on major Indian problems were the two basic developments for the Bureau of Indian Affairs during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1954. According to the annual report of Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay released today.

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