An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

News by Year

Press Release

The Department of the Interior today recommended enactment of legislation for construction of the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project and the initial stage of the San Juan-Chama Project.

In a report to Congress, the Department supported R.R. 2352 and R.R. 2494, identical bills authorizing construction and maintenance of the two projects as participating projects of the Colorado River Storage Project.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior today announced its support of legislation that would transfer to the Citizen and of Potawatomi Indians of Oklahoma about 58 acres of federally owned land near Shawnee, Oklahoma.

In a report on H. R. 7990, Assistant Secretary Roger Ernst pointed out that the land was originally part of a large area ceded to the Federal Government in the 1890’s by the Citizen Potawatomi and the Absentee Shawnees. Subsequently it is used as the site for a Bureau of Indian Affairs school farm. It has not, however, been used for this purpose for many years.

Date: to
Press Release

Walwyn S. Watkins, superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school at Wrangell, Alaska, has been named the new superintendent of the Bureau’s Fort Belknap Agency at Harlem, Montana, effective May 28, the Department of the Interior announced today.

He succeeds Howard S. Dushane, who transferred last February as superintendent of the Cheyenne River Agency at Eagle Butte, S. Dak.

Date: to
Press Release

Promotion of Martin N. B. Holm to the position of Area Director at Aberdeen, South Dakota, in charge of Indian Bureau operations in North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska was announced today by the Department of the Interior.

Mr. Holm has been serving as Assistant Area Director in charge of community services at the Bureau's area office in Portland, Oregon since 1954. He will take over his new duties at Aberdeen around May 21, succeeding Benjamin Reifel who resigned March 11.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior today announced its support of legislation that would give the Nez Perce Indian Tribe of Idaho beneficial ownership of about 1,700 acres on the Nez Perce Reservation subject to the right of the United States to use the land for agency, school or administrative purposes.

The Tribe has indicated that it intends to use a substantial portion of the land for the development of an "Indian village" as a tourist attraction.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior announced today that it is withdrawing a proposal submitted to Congress on March 4, 1960, for the enactment of legislation that would end Federal trusteeship and supervision over the property of the Lower Elwha Band of Indians in Clallam County, Washington.

The Department’s proposal has been introduced as H. R. 11104.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior has recommended enactment of S. 3198, a bill which would permit leasing of Indian lands on all reservations for terms up to a maximum of 99 years, Assistant Secretary Roger Ernst announced today.

Such authority was provided for lands of the Palm Springs Reservation in California by legislation which Congress enacted last year, Mr. Ernst pointed out, and similar bills are pending in Congress which would affect lands of the Navajo Tribe, the Seminoles of Florida and the Torres-Martinez Indians of California.

Date: to
Press Release

Two changes in the Federal regulations governing the preparation of an up-to-date membership roll for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of North Carolina were announced today by the Department of the Interior.

Both modifications were recommended by the tribal council of the Eastern Cherokee Band to clarify the intent of the regulations which have been in effect since January 1959.

Date: to
Press Release

Resignation of Benjamin Reifel as area director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs at Aberdeen, South Dakota, was announced today by the Department of the Interior.

Mr. Reifel, who has been serving as area director at Aberdeen since 1955, submitted his resignation for personal reasons. It was effective March 11 Robert Bennett, program officer at the Aberdeen office; was designated acting area director pending appointment of a successor.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior today announced its endorsement of legislation that would permit the leasing of Indian lands on the. Navajo Reservation in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah for periods up to a maximum of 99 years.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior announced today it has submitted to Congress proposals for legislation that would end Federal trusteeship and supervision 0ver two small Indian reservations in western Washington.

The reservations affected are Lower Elwha embracing 372 acres in Clallam County near Port Angeles and Shoalwater Bay which comprises 334.75 acres in Pacific County southwest of Hoquiam. There are about 80 Indians in the Lower Elwha group and 11 residing on the Shoalwater Bay Reservation.

Date: to
Press Release

Promotion of Llewellyn Kingsley from the post of administrative officer at the Uintah and Ouray Indian Agency, Fort Duchesne, Utah, to the position of superintendent of the Winnebago Agency, Winnebago, Nebraska, was announced today by the Department of the Interior.

Mr. Kingsley will assume his new duties effective March 6. He succeeds Allan M. Adams who recently transferred to the Washington Office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a realty officer.

Date: to
Press Release

Of the 31,259 Indian people who have moved away from their reservations to western and Midwestern cities since 1952 with help provided under the relocation services program of the Bureau of Indian Affairs of the Department of the Interior, about 70 percent have become self-supporting in their new homes, Commissioner Glenn L. Emmons reported today.

Date: to
Press Release

The withdrawal of 1,393 acres of public lands in New Mexico for scientific research by New Mexico’s A. &M. College with a special provision protecting the traditional right of local Indians to use a portion of the area for religious purposes was announced today by the Department of the Interior.

The lands are located in Dona Ana County. They Hill be used by the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts for research on electromagnetism and other subjects.

Date: to
Press Release

Education and training programs of the Bureau of Indian Affairs benefited an increasing number of Indians of all ages during the fiscal year 1959, Secretary of the Interior Fred A. Seaton said today in releasing the Department1s annual report.

Adult vocational training under Indian Bureau contracts with trade schools throughout the country was furnished to 1,547 Indians during the year. This contrasted with 376 trainees in 195B, the first year of the Bureau's adult vocational training program.

Date: to
Press Release

Transfer of Howard S. Dushane, superintendent of the Fort Belknap Indian Agency at Harlem, Montana, to the comparable position at the Cheyenne River Agency in South Dakota, effective February 20, was announced today by the Department of the Interior. He succeeds Noralf Nesset who was named superintendent of the Standing Rock Agency, Fort Yates, N. Dak., last December.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior has submitted to Congress a proposal for legislation that will eliminate numerous administrative problems that have been encountered in the sale of timber from Indian lands, Assistant Secretary Roger Ernst announced today.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior has submitted to Congress a proposal for legislation that would donate 640 acres in Sandoval County, New Mexico, to the Indian Pueblos of Zia and Jemez, Assistant Secretary Roger Ernst announced today.

Date: to
Press Release

Legislation to lift mineral lease limitations that have hampered the development of Indian tribal lands has been submitted to Congress by the Department of the Interior, Assistant Secretary Roger C. Ernst announced today.

Specifically, the proposed legislation would remove the 10-year limit on nonproducing leases which, Assistant Secretary Ernst said, prevents tribes in some cases from realizing the full benefit of their mineral assets.

Date: to
Press Release

The President today has declared the Zuni Indian Reservation in New Mexico to be an acute distress area because of drought conditions last summer and unusually severe weather conditions this winter and in making this declaration he is putting into effect the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1949, as amended by section 301 of the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954, to make emergency livestock feed available to the members of the reservation.

Date: to
Press Release

A proposed new set of Federal regulations under which the commercial rights of the Indians, Eskimos, and Aleuts of Alaska may be exercised, if they choose to utilize such rights, as announced today by Secretary of the Interior Fred A. Seaton.

The proposal is being forwarded to the Federal Register for publication in the near future. Comments are invited from interested parties for a period of 30 days after the date of publication.

Date: to
Press Release

Award of a $51,000 contract for water catchment-storage units on the Hualapai Indian Reservation in northern Arizona was announced today by the Department of the Interior.

The contract covers construction of six steel stock water tanks with a capacity of 50,000 gallons each, and six catchment areas lined with asphalt mats.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior announced today that it has no objection to statutory postponement of the deadline for termination of Federal trust supervision over the property and affairs of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin beyond the presently scheduled date of December 31, 1960.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior today announced tl1e award of a $120, 528.52 contract for the construction of irrigation and drainage facilities on the Cabazon Indian Reservation in Coachella Valley, Riverside County, California.

Date: to
Press Release

First, let me pass on the sincere regrets of Secretary Fred A. Seaton and Commissioner of Indian Affairs Glenn L. Emmons that they were unable to be with you here today. While previous commitments have unfortunately made their attendance impossible, both have asked me to express personal greetings and very best wishes for a most successful and memorable dedication.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior today announced a proposed revision of Federal regulations to remove restrictions against read construction that have applied for more than 20 years on 283,000 acres of Indian reservation land in Arizona and Washington.

The lands that would be affected are the Goat Rocks Area of 105,000 acres and the Mount Adams Area of 48,000 acres, both on the Yakima Reservation in Washington, and the Mount Thomas Area of 130,000 acres on the Fort Apache Reservation in Arizona.

Date: to
Press Release

Young American Indians will be given an opportunity to develop their creative talents in arts and crafts through a new two-year course starting this coming fall under Department of the Interior auspices at the Federal Indian school in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Glenn L. Emmons announced today.

Date: to
Press Release

In a personal letter to a young American Indian who recently won a prize in a national essay contest, Secretary of the Interior Fred- A. Seaton called him a "shining example not only for other young Indian people but for all youthful Americans throughout the country."

Date: to
Press Release

A majority of the 215 adult Indians of the Catawba Tribe of South Carolina have now indicated their agreement to a division of the tribal assets among themselves as provided in a law enacted last September and a notice of this fact will be published in the Federal Register shortly, Secretary of the Interior Fred A, Seaton announced today.

Upon publication of the notice, Secretary Seaton added, the membership roll of the tribe will be closed at midnight thereafter and the pr0visions of Public Law 86-322 will go into effect.

Date: to
Press Release

Award of a $176,195 contract for improvement of approximately 27 miles of road from U. S. Highway 18 north to Sharps on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Shannon County, South Dakota, was announced today by the Department of the Interior.

When completed, the project will provide a bituminous surfaced road to communities at Wounded Knee, Porcupine, and Sharps and serve approximately one thousand Indian residents of the central section of the Pine Ridge Reservation for school bus, mail route, and farm to market travel.

Date: to
Press Release

Persons who are not enrolled members of the present-day Omaha Indian Tribe of Nebraska but are descendants of the Aboriginal Omaha Tribe and Nation should be permitted to share in the judgment fund recovered by the Tribe before the Indian Claims Commission last February, Assistant Secretary of the Interior Roger Ernst said today.

Date: to
Press Release

Award of a $31,740 contract for development of approximately 320 acres of land on the Sandia Pueblo Grant under the jurisdiction of the United Pueblo Agency of the Bureau of Indian Affairs was announced today by the Department of the Interior.

This is a part of the rehabilitation program for Indian lands of the Middle to Grande Pueblos authorized by the Flood Control Acts of 1948 and 1950, and will provide additional developed land for use of tribal members.

Date: to
Press Release

Assistant Secretary of the Interior Roger Ernst today emphasized that Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Glenn L, Emmons is to be credited for the recent decision to establish a new arts and crafts course at the Santa Fe (N. Mex.) Indian School this coming fall.

Date: to
Press Release

Award of a $78,643 contract for development and rehabilitation of approximately 500 acres on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation on the Nevada-Idaho boundary was announced today by the Department of the Interior.

The contractor will level the land and construct canals, laterals, and water control structures for irrigation purposes.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior today recommended enactment of legislation that would turn over to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Indian Tribes of Montana 527 acres of Government-owned land on the Flathead Reservation valued at $38,207.

The acreage recommended for transfer was bought by the Government from the Indians in 1904 for $958.75 as part of an area to be used for Indian Bureau administration. It is no longer needed for this purpose. The only building on the land is owned by the tribal organization.

Date: to
Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Fred A. Seaton today announced the adoption of changes in the Federal regulations that will make it possible to grant certain rights-of-way permits for oil and gas pipelines across Indian lands for terms up to a maximum of 50 years.

Under the former regulations the maximum term was 20 years with a 20-year renewal. Consent of the Indian landowners was required in connection with both the original term and the renewal. Existing permits are not affected by the new regulations.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior announced today that it favors the enactment of legislation to fix the final construction cost of irrigation works already constructed on the Wapato-Status Unit of the Wapato Indian Irrigation Project in Washington and to allocate that cost on a per-acre basis to the lands that can be served by these works.

In commenting on H. R. 12771, the Department pointed out that the bill is an outgrowth of the desire on the part of the Wapato-Status landowners to know with certainty the total construction charges against their lands.

Date: to
Press Release

Award of a $30,700 contract to begin construction of a new student union building at the Haskell Indian Institute, Lawrence, Kansas was announced today by the Department of the Interior.

The contract covers the installation of concrete piling and grade beams for the new structure. When completed, the building will provide improved scholastic and recreational facilities for about 1,100 Indian students at the nationally famed Kansas institution.

Date: to
Press Release

A sale of oil and gas leases on Indian lands of the Blackfeet Reservation in northern Montana which brought in high bonuses totaling over $200,000 for the Indian landowners was announced today by the Department of the Interior.

The bids were opened at Browning, Montana, August 24. Bids were received on 51 tracts totaling 13,770 acres. The total of the high bids on 33 tracts of tribal land amounted to $193,444.10. On 18 tracts owned by individual Indians high bonus offerings totaled $19,645.05.

The highest amount per acre bid on any one tract was $52.48.

Date: to
Press Release

Fred Kabotie, the well-known Hopi Indian artist, will join the staff of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board this week, the Department of the Interior announced today. His headquarters will be at Oraibi, Arizona, and his territory the Hopi Indian Reservation.

In keeping with the purpose of the Board, Hr. Kabotie will promote the economic welfare of the Hopi people through the development of their arts and crafts.

Date: to
Press Release

Adoption of new Federal regulations to govern the -handling of public appeals from administrative decisions made by officials of the Bureau of Indian Affairs was announced today by Secretary of the Interior Fred A. Seaton.

The procedure being established, decisions or actions by Indian Bureau person's legal rights or privileges. Which are merely directed against the decisions or actions.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior today announced the award of a $1,011,750 contract for the construction of a new 12-classroom high school on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation at Belcourt, North Dakota.

The new school will provide seats for 360 Indian students. It will serve the dual purpose of relieving overcrowding in the Indian Bureau's present combined elementary and high school at Belcourt and of accommodating 260 additional high school pupils.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior announced today the award of a $144,840 contract for the construction of a 128.-pupil girl’s dormitory at Wingate Vocational School for Indians at Fort Wingate, New Mexico.

This dormitory, when completed, will relieve overcrowding of the present dormitories and provide for an enrollment of 820 pupils.

The successful bidder was Hesselden Construction Company, of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Nine higher bids were received, ranging from $146,592.00 to $192,976.00.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior today announced the addition of two new sections to the Code of Federal Regulations to provide for leasing of lands on the Colorado River Indian Reservation within the State of Arizona and the leasing of lands on the Navajo Reservation for periods up to a maximum of 99 years.

Both changes are in line with laws recently enacted by Congress.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior today released the text of letters from Under Secretary Elmer F. Bennett to Rep. Lee Metcalf of Montana and Rep. George S. McGovern of South Dakota on the Indian revolving loan fund. The text of the identical letters follows:

Office of Under Secretary

October 3, 1960

Dear Mr. Metcalf:

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior announced today two personnel moves involving superintendents of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in North Dakota and South Dakota.

Owen D. Morken, who has been superintendent of the Fort Berthold Agency, New Town, N. Dak., since 1957, will move on October 13 to the comparable position at Pierre Agency, Pierre, S. Dak. He will replace Christian H. Beitzel who retired August 31.

Date: to
Press Release

Award of a $1,119,100 contract for the expansion and improvement of Federal Indian school facilities on the Navajo Reservation at Teec Nos Pos, Arizona, was announced today by the Department of the Interior.

The project involves an enlargement in the capacity of the existing boarding school at Teec Nos Pos to provide space for 334 Indian pupils. When completed, it will relieve the present overcrowding and furnish educational opportunities for 252 additional Navajo youngsters.

The work is scheduled for completion in the fall of 1961.

Date: to
Press Release

Sales of timber from lands belonging to Indian tribes and individual Indians brought the owners a record high income of $12,388,000 in the fiscal year 1960, or 23 percent more than the 1959 income, the Department of the Interior announced today.

The volume of timber cut under contract was also at the record level of 597 million board feet, an increase of 63 million board feet over the 1959 total. Not included in these figures are the data for Klamath Indian Reservation, in Oregon, where sales are affected by the approaching termination of all Federal trust responsibility.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior today announced the completion of negotiations between the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Harn Corporation of Cleveland, Ohio, for the establishment of a quilting plant that will provide employment for Indian workers on the Standing Rock Reservation at McLaughlin, South Dakota.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior today announced award of a contract for construction of 10.056 miles of roadway from Betatakin Turnoff to Marsh Pass on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona.

This section of road is part of Navajo Route 1, for which authorizing legislation was provided by Public Law 85-740 enacted in 1958.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior today (December 9) invited leasing and development proposals on a 3440·-acre tract of undeveloped Indian land in Nevada with a shore frontage of 6.4 miles on Pyramid Lake, an inland body of deep-blue fresh water in a desert-mountain setting.

The tract being offered is on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation about 33 miles north of Reno and offers excellent possibilities for business, recreational or residential development.

Date: to
Press Release

Award of a $1,600,000 contract for construction of a new school building and two dormitories on the campus of the Haskell Indian Institute at Lawrence, Kansas, was announced today by the Department of the Interior.

Date: to
Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Fred A. Seaton today announced approval of two agreements between the Navajo Indian Tribe and the Arizona Public S8rvice Company which provide for large-scale development and sale of electric power on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Date: to
Press Release

INDIAN LAND TRUST RESTRICTIONS EXPIRING IN 1961 EXTENDED FIVE YEARS Trust restrictions on allotted Indian lands, scheduled to expire in calendar year 1961, have been extended for an additional five years, Secretary of the Interior Fred A. Seaton announced today.

Date: to

indianaffairs.gov

An official website of the U.S. Department of the Interior

Looking for U.S. government information and services?
Visit USA.gov