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News by Year

Press Release

It is a pleasure to participate with you today for I truly believe that this session is the Forerunner of the truly unified, coordinated effort in providing the services that the American Indians not only wants but is entitled to have.

Early in my job as a Secretary of the Interior I promised to consult with our first citizens to discover not only what was wanted but how we should go about filling those wants.

I believe that this is something interior and N.C.I.O. and all Indian related agencies must do.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Walter J. Hickel will bestow the Department’s valor award on eight employees June 30 at ceremonies in Washington, D.C.’s Constitution Hall. The event also will honor 94 Interior employees for distinguished service.

The Department’s gold valor award will go to the following:

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Press Release

Awards totaling more than $45 million were granted American Indian groups through judgments of the Indian Claims Commission during 1969, the Bureau of Indian Affairs reported today.

Congress has appropriated funds for $25.7 million of the total granted. The appropriated funds earn interest for the tribes involved while the funds are on deposit to their deposit.

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Press Release

Indians are operating an increasing number of the Federal Government’s programs designed to help their people find better jobs and send their young to college.

The programs themselves are not new – but the leadership, and the accent on self-determination, are.

Operated with funds from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, an agency of the Department of the Interior, they symbolizes a new approach, which is steadily gaining ground.

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Press Release

A few weeks ago, on the busy Colorado river reservation near, Parker, Ariz., Sam Lockshin, President of Prest-Wheel, Inc., turned the keys to his firm’s branch plant over to two Colorado River Indians: Vincent Scott, superintendent and Myron Murdock, production planning manager.

It’s the first time that non-Indian businessman have transformed total management responsibilities to their Indian employees. People who watch such things believe it may be a trend in the making.

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Press Release

Hale Secakuku, 63, Second Mesa, Ariz., a Hopi Indian, was given the first “Indian Small Businessman of the Year” award May 18 in the auditorium of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.

The citation on the plaque given Mr. Secakuku read “For exemplifying the imagination, initiative, independence, and integrity by which the American small businessman makes a vital contribution to the Nation, the economy, and the free enterprise system.”

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Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior, announced today a new edition of a new addition of its popular, “American Indian Calendar" is available for purchase from the Superintendent of Documents in Washington, D.C.

The calendar lists important Indian events primarily in the 25 states where there are Indians having a service relationship with the Federal Government. The booklet has information on pow-wows, rodeos, dances, religious observances, and arts and crafts exhibitions.

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Press Release

A total of $383 million was invested during fiscal 1969 in Indian developmental projects ranging from home repair to transistor plants, Louis R. Bruce, Commissioner of Indian affairs announced today. The amount invested was $58.5 million above the 1968 figure.

The money came from three sources: tribal funds, customary lenders, and a Federal revolving credit fund, from which loans are made if no other source is available.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Walter J. Hickel announced today that he has approved an “executive realignment” of top positions in the Bureau of Indian affairs.

“These changes will help make the Bureau more responsive to the needs of the Indian people and will provide the necessary flexibility in developing and carrying out programs to meet those requirements.” Secretary Hickel said.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Walter J. Hickel leaves Washington today for an “on the scene” environmental inspection tour of three National Park System areas in Wyoming and Montana and a meeting with tribal chiefs of the Crow Indian Reservation.

His trip will include official visits to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks Wednesday, July 1, through Saturday, July 4, followed by a meeting with the Crow Indian leaders—with whom he will smoke an “environmental peace pipe,” at a ceremony in the Bighorn Canyon National Recreational Area.

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Press Release

President Nixon’s historic special message to Congress on Indians is a brass-tacks, straight forward statement of what the Nation and its Indian people need in working together toward a better future for all.

It is a time we listen to what the Indians have been telling us.

Like all Americans, they want social justice, education, health care and a chance to choose their own kind of life.

But their problems are special—and so is our responsibility to them.

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Press Release

President Nixon's special message to the Congress on Indian Affairs is a "positive and historic statement that should do much to give the Indian people lives of dignity and self-determination." Commissioner of Indian Affairs Louis R. Bruce said today.

Commissioner Bruce said the president, in his message of July 8, ensured that steps will be taken to increase Indian control of Indian affairs while reaffirming and strengthening the historic legal and moral obligations of the federal government.

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Press Release

For Alaskans--- and for the millions of Americans throughout the 50 states who have been frustrated over the years in trying to do something positive, progressive and fair for America’s first citizens, this should be considered a great victory.

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Press Release

Commissioner Louis R. Bruce announced today that the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs has awarded a $200,000 contract to the Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C., to operate an Indian post-correctional rehabilitation program for Indian prison parolees.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Walter J. Hickel announced today the appointment of Sam Yankee to the Department's new 15-member Advisory Board on Sport Fisheries and Wildlife. The newly established Board, composed of citizens from all over the country, will provide counsel and advice to the Secretary on policy matters relating to the conservation of our wildlife resources.

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Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs a Department of the Interior today announced the renewal of three large training contracts providing employment opportunities for Indians. Value of the three contract is estimated nearly $5 million.

The contracts provide for the continued operation of the BIA Roswell Employment Training Center, Roswell, N.M., the Madera Employment Training Center, Madera, Calif,. and a pilot project in San Diego which provides residential training for "solo" parents.

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Press Release

"ZUNIS TAKE OVER BIA" said the headline in the local newspaper.

The event was not an insurrection or a sit-in on the part of Zuni Indians from the historic New Mexican pueblo, one of Coronado's seven cities of Cibola.

It was a proud and peaceful demonstration of tri al initiative under a new Federal policy which encourages tribal governments to direct the activities of Bureau of Indian Affairs employees on their reservation.

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Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs will. Prepare a roll of Indians originally from the central states are entitled to share in the distribution of more than $2 million in judgment funds, the Department of Interior announced today.

Tribes to be included are the Confederated Tribes of Weas Piankashaws, Peorias, and Kaskaskias, who merged under an 1854 treaty that combined their interests, distribution of more than $2 million in judgment funds, the Department of the Interior announced today.

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Press Release

A suit in behalf of treaty fishing rights of Indian tribes in the State of Washington has been filled by the Department of Justice at the request of the Department of the Interior. The suit is similar to one filled two years ago in Oregon.

In announcing the filing, Secretary of the Interior Walter J. Hickel said, "The decision in the Oregon case has done much to clarify Indian fishing rights on the Columbia river. We hope this suit will have the same effect on fishing rights in the Puget Sound and Olympic Peninsula areas of the State of Washington."

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Walter J. Hickel today designated the week of October 5-9, 1970, as Interior Job Corps Environmental quality Week, in recognition of the significant role· that the Department’s Job Corps Civilian

Conservation Centers have to play in the Nation's efforts to involve youth in the quest of environmental quality.

"I believe that our observation of Interior Job Corps Environmental Quality

Week will be a significant step forward in creating within the Job Corps enrollees a new awareness of environmental problems," Secretary Hickel said.

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Press Release

Indians who work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs headquarters in Washington, D.C., are offering three multi-colored travel posters for sale as unusual Christmas gifts.

The posters, designed by American Indian art students, are based on the theme, "Discover America with the First Americans, " an invitation to visit Indian reservations at vacation time.

The posters sell for $1.75 each with all proceeds going directly into college scholarships for Indian youngsters.

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Press Release

Mobile art vans, bringing professional fine arts instruction to Indian children in country schools are the latest innovation in the Bureau of Indian Affairs' revamped curricula for reservation children.

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Press Release

Where would you go to find 19th Century accounts of Red Lake and Pembina Chippewa Half-Breed scrip? And does this scrip have any worth today?

Why dredge up an 1854 Indian treaty relating to the Weas, Piankashaws, Peorias, and Kaskaskias -- Indian groups that are a tiny minority of Indians today?

How much did Florida cost in 1823? And who cares?

Such questions have been raised in 1970. Their answers may be worth millions of dollars, and depend on archaic records of U.S. Government

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Walter J. Hickel today announced sweeping personnel policy changes in the Bureau of Indian Affairs designed to give the Indian people more voice at the decision-making levels of government.

The new program calls for the creation of 63 n1w Field Administrator positions on reservations and granting these administrators full authority to assist local Indians in developing their economic and social opportunities.

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Press Release

The proposed revision codifies for the first time many rules, practices and procedures previously contained only in memoranda and instructions, and is designed to bring all procedures into line as far as practicable with the general philosophy of current court rules and practices. Included are a proposal that would modernize regulations relating to the probate of estates of deceased Indians is being published in the Federal Register, the Board of Indian Appeals in Interior's Office of Hearings and Appeals announced today.

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Press Release

Acting Secretary of the Interior Fred J. Russell today signed an order extending the legal “freeze” on public domain lands in Alaska until midnight on June 30, 1971 -- or sooner, if Native land claims legislation takes effect in the interim.

Secretary Russell said the extension of the two-year-old order beyond its scheduled expiration date of December 31, 1970, is intended to give Congress additional time to complete action on legislation settling the land claims of Alaska's native Aleuts, Eskimos and Indians.

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Press Release

The President today signed H. R. 471 which declares that certain lands in Carson National Forrest, New Mexico, are held in trust for the Pueblo de Taos. This tract, comprised of approximately 48,000 acres of land and the Blue Lake, has been used by the Taos Pueblo Indians for religious and tribal purposes since the fourteenth century.

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Press Release

A field study program in American Indian culture, language, art, history and contemporary life will be offered this summer in the heart of the Southwest's "Indian country" by the non-profit American Forum for International Study in cooperation with the Interior Department's Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The four-week program, July 5 through August 1, 1970, is designed for teachers, advanced college students and those whose professions require an understanding of American Indian groups.

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Press Release

Forty miles northwest of Fairbanks, in the interior of Alaska, the town of New Minto is under construction, to be occupied by 160 Minto Indians. New Minto is a replacement for old Minto Village, 25 miles away, which has suffered severe damage from spring thaws.

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