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News by Year

Press Release

Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today the appointment of Ralph E. Paisano, a Laguna Pueblo Indian, as Superintendent of the BIA's Ramah Navajo Agency, Ramah, New Mexico.

Paisano, who has been an Employment Assistance Specialist in the Albuquerque Area Office, assumed responsibility at Ramah on April 11.

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Press Release

The Indian Arts and Crafts Board announced today issuance of revised Source Directories No. 1 and No. 2, which will be of particular interest to potential customers of authentic Native American arts and crafts.

Source Directory No.1 deals with Native American owned and operated arts and crafts organizations located throughout the United States, including artist and craftsman cooperatives, tribal arts and crafts enterprises, and non-profit Native American arts organizations

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Press Release

Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today that the Minnesota Sioux Indian Tribes presented a Peace Pipe to the United States in a recent White House Ceremony.

Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller accepted the pipe June 25 from Glynn A. Crooks, tribal councilman of the Shakopee-Mdewakanton Sioux Tribe. Crooks called the pipe a symbol of "trust, unity, friendship and peace."

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Press Release

President Ford will meet with more than 200 leaders of the American Indian community at the White House Friday afternoon (July 16), Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

It will be the first time a President of the United States has met with such a broad representation of the Indian leadership.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Thomas S. Kleppe today hailed the new spirit of determination and confidence among Indian leaders. In remarks to 200 leaders of the American Indian community at a White House meeting, Secretary Kleppe said: "Whether young or old, the Indian leaders today have a new spirit --perhaps it is revival of a very old spirit-- of determination and of confidence."

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Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs is strengthening its Office of Indian Education Programs, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

Under a new organizational structure, approved July 13, the authority of the office will be extended and some major functions transferred from field units to the Washington headquarters.

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Press Release

Proposed regulations to govern the preparation of a roll of persons of Cherokee Shawnee Indian ancestry are being published in the Federal Register, Commissioner Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today. The roll will be used for a per capita distribution of funds awarded to the Shawnees by the Indian Claims Commission.

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Press Release

Regulations governing the enrollment of persons under the amended Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act were published today in the Federal Register, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

The Settlement Act was amended by legislation enacted January 2, 1976, which reopened the rolls for a period of one year for those persons who missed the original enrollment deadline of March 30,1973.

Alaska Natives will receive 40 million acres of land and almost one billion dollars under the provisions of the Settlement Act, signed into law December 18,1971.

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Press Release

A plan for the use and distribution of more than $9 million awarded to the. Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation by the Indian Claims Commission is being published in the Federal Register, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

The award is compensation or reservation land taken by the united States in the early part of this century. The reservation is in North Dakota.

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Press Release

Sidney L. Mills, an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, has been named Executive Assistant to Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson, it was announced today.

Mills, who has been Assistant Director for Management Services in the BIA's Office of Administration, succeeds Ronald L. Esguerra who was recently appointed Director of the BIA's Albuquerque Area.

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Press Release

George E. Keller, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, has been appointed Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Rosebud Agency in South Dakota, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

Keller, who was born on the reservation, has been Community Services Office at the agency the past four years. He was formerly Education Program Administrator at the Lower Brule Agency, Principal of the Pierre School and Guidance Supervisor at the Flandreau Indian School.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Thomas S. Kleppe and officers of the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation today approved an agreement paving the way for the first major conveyance of land to Alaska Natives under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

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Press Release

Regulations to govern the preparation of a roll of members of the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma to be used for the distribution of funds awarded by the Indian Claims Commission were published in the Federal Register, August 6, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

The Apache, Kiowa and Comanche Tribes were awarded more than $35 million as additional payment for land ceded to the United States by treaties concluded in 1865 and 1867.

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Press Release

Louis D. Bayhylle, an enrolled member of the Pawnee Tribe, has been appointed Chief Personnel Officer of th Bureau of Indian Affairs. Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

Bayhylle has been Chief of Personnel Services at the Veterans Administration Hopsital in New York City since 1963. He has been in personnel work with the Veterans Administration for more than 30 years.

A native of Muskogee, Oklahoma, Bayhylle is a graduate of the Central High School there. He has completed numerous training programs in management and personnel.

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Press Release

Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today the appointment of LaFollette Butler, a Cherokee, as Acting Director of the Commissioner's Indian Self-Determination Staff. Butler, a 23-year BIA veteran, directed the Bureau's task force which developed the regulations for implementing the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act. He is the Special Assistant to the Phoenix Area Director.

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Press Release

Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today that he has called a special meeting of the Cherokee Delaware Tribe's general council to convene at 10:00 a.m., September 11, in the old high school gymnasium in Dewey, Oklahoma to consider removal of certain of its officers.

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Press Release

The Navajo Indian Tribe will receive more than $7.3 million, under a contract with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, to be used in public schools
serving Navajo students, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

The contract, awarded August 11, gives the tribe administrative responsibility for the Johnson-O'Malley (JOM) programs serving the reservation.

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Press Release

A meeting of the general council of the Cherokee Delaware Tribe, scheduled to be held September 11 in Dewey, Okla., has been cancelled, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

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Press Release

Richard T. Christman has been appointed superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Papago Agency at Sells, Ariz., Commissioner
of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

Christman, 39, replaces Joe Lucero, who retired as agency superintendent earlier this year.

For the past six years Christman served as Education Program Administrator at the Papago Agency. He has been employed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs since 1963.

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Press Release

Dennis L. Petersen, an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, has been appointed Tribal Government Services Officer for the Bureau
of Indian Affairs, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

Petersen has been Superintendent of the BIA Sisseton Agency in South Dakota since January, 1972.

An Army veteran of both World War II and the Korean conflict, Petersen has worked with Indian communities since 1952 in resource and economic development.

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Press Release

David C. Harrison, a member of the Osage Tribe, has been appointed Judicial Services Officer in the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Office of Indian Services, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

The position is a new one created to enable the Bureau to work more effectively for the strengthening of tribal judicial systems. Harrison, in the new post, will work with national organizations of Indian judges, tribal chairmen and Indian lawyers.

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Press Release

Plans for the use and distribution of $4.9 million awarded by Indian Claims Commission to the Western Apache Indians are being published in the Federal Register, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

The award, for lands taken by the United States without compensation between 1873 and 1902, will be divided equally between the White Mountain Apache Tribe and the San Carlos Apache Tribe as present-day successors of the Western Apaches.

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Press Release

Special funding for implementing the Indian Self-Determination Act in fiscal year 1977 has been requested by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson said today.

A request for $32.9 million for self-determination services is included in the Bureau's budget request submitted January 21 to Congress by President Ford.

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Press Release

Plans for the use of funds awarded by the Indian Claims Commission to the Barnish and Swinomish tribes of Indians are being published in the Federal Register, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

The Samish Indians were awarded $5,754 and the Swinomish $29,000 as additional compensation for land taken as a result of the Point Elliot Treaty ratified in 1859. Both tribes were located in the Western Washington area.

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Press Release

Alaska natives have been given a second opportunity to be enrolled under the Alaska Native ·claims Settlement Act, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson said today.

Commissioner Thompson said that legislation (P.L. 94-204) enacted January 2, 1976, re-opens the rolls for one year for those persons who missed the original enrollment deadline of March 30, 1973.

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Press Release

Regulations governing the enrollment of Cherokee Indians who will share in the per capita distribution of $1 million are being published in the Federal Register, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

The fund to be distributed is part of an award made by the Indian Claims Commission to the Cherokee Nation as additional compensation for lands taken between 1872 and 1893.

According to the regulations, only those Cherokees who were alive on November 5, 1975 and whose names appear on one of eight final rolls of the tribe are eligible for enrollment.

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Press Release

Carl M. Dupuis, an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, has been appointed Chief of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Division of Facilities Engineering, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

He is the first Indian to hold this position in the Bureau.

''We are very pleased about this appointment," Commissioner Thompson said. "Carl is highly qualified and will do an excellent job in a field where there are now too few Indians. The Indian community needs to have more of its students move into engineering work."

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Press Release

Hiram E Olney, an enrolled member of the Yakima Indian Tribe, has been appointed Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Yakima Agency, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

Olney, whose appointment was effective February 15, has been superintendent of the Fort Hall Agency in Idaho. The Yakima Agency is at Toppenish, Washington.

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Press Release

Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson has assigned Curtis Geiogamah as the BIA Acting Director on the Navajo Reservation, pending the recruitment of a permanent appointee for the position.

Thompson said that the position has been advertised and that applications would be received through March 12. ''We expect to have many excellent applicants for this important position," the commissioner said. We will, of course, consult with the governing body before making a selection, but we hope to fill the vacancy promptly."

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Press Release

Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today that Indian communities and individuals would have an extended period of time to submit comments on proposed law enforcement standards for Indian reservations.

The proposed rules, which were published in the Federal Register February 18, with a deadline for comments of February 28, are being re­published with a new deadline of April 18.

Commissioner Thompson said he wanted to encourage Indian people to express their views on these rules which will govern a basic service program in their communities."

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Press Release

The Potawatomi Indians of Kansas now have a tribal constitution. Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson gave formal approval February 19 to the document ratified in an election by the tribe on February 2.

The tribe has been without any form of tribal government since 1972 - and without an effective government for even longer. The new constitution provides for the prompt election of a tribal council and officers and is expected to meet the needs of the tribe for a sound governmental system.

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Press Release

Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today that a contract to construct additional school facilities for the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Gray Hill High School at Tuba City, Ariz., has been awarded to the Hunt Building Corporation, El Faso, Texas.

The $2.9 million contract requires the construction of' three dormitory wings, two annexes to the present gymnasium, a practical arts shop addition and a new student union.

The dormitory additions, when completed, will provide accommodations for 400 students.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Thomas S. Kleppe has directed the State Director of the Bureau of Land Management's Alaska Office to reserve rights-of-way for the transportation of Federally-owned energy, fuel and other natural resources across lands being transferred to Alaska Natives and Native corporations under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

Under the Act, more than 40 million acres of Federal land will be conveyed to Alaska Natives and Native corporations.

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Press Release

Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson has announced the appointment of Clydia Nahwooksy as a Special Assistant in his office.

A Cherokee from Oklahoma, one of Nahwooksy's first projects is to serve as Commissioner Thompson's Liaison for the Bureau's Bicentennial program She will coordinate the Bureau's three national Bicentennial projects: an exhibition of contemporary Indian art, a videotape project and a literature and oratory project

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Press Release

William G. Demmert will be Director of Indian Education Programs for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

Demmert, who is part Tlingit and part Oglala Sioux, is well known in the Indian community as a top administrator of Indian education programs in the Department of Health, education, and Welfare. He is the first Deputy Commissioner of Indian education in the United States Office of education (USOE), a position created in 1972 by the Indian education Act (P.L. 92-318).

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Press Release

Michael .A. Fairbanks, a member of' the Red lake Band of' Chippewa Indians, has been appointed the first Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs new Michigan Agency at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

Fairbanks, 39, has been the Tribal Operations Officer at the Western Nevada Agency. He had previously held that position in the Great Lakes Agency from which the Michigan Agency was created.

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Press Release

Donald E. Loudner, a member of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, has been appointed Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Yankton, South Dakota Agency, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

Loudner has been Coordinator of the Office of Indian Affairs for the State of South Dakota for the last four years.

A long-time resident of Mitchell, South Dakota, Loudner was active in Indian matters there, and for six years was a member of the South Dakota State Indian Commission.

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Press Release

Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson has announced the appointment of Joe M. Parker, a Chickasaw Indian, as Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Tahlequah, Oklahoma Agency. Parker, who has been Acting Superintendent at the Agency since January 12, replaces Joe Ragsdale who has retired.

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Press Release

Procedural rules for the disenrollment of persons erroneously included on the roll of persons eligible for benefits under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act are being published in the Federal Register, the Department of the Interior announced today.

A roll of eligible Alaska Natives was conditionally approved December 17, 1973, and legislation enacted January 2, 1976, reopened the enrollment process for another full year- The disenrollment regulations establish procedures for removing, with due process, persons not entitled to the benefits of the Act.

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Press Release

In remarks at the dedication of Block I of the Navajo Irrigation Project in Farmington, New Mexico, today Secretary of the Interior Thomas S. Kleppe hailed the opportunities the project will provide for the Indian people.

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Press Release

Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today that Jose M. Carpio, an Isleta Pueblo Indian, has been appointed superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' San Carlos Agency in Eastern Arizona.

Carpio has been Superintendent of the Umatilla Agency at Pendleton, Oregon. Carpio's appointment is effective May 9. He replaces James P. Howell who has retired. The agency serves the San Carlos Apache Tribe.

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Press Release

Joseph W. Gorrell, Deputy Director of Interior's Bureau of Outdoor Recreation (BOR), has been appointed to direct financial management programs for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

Commissioner Thompson said, ''This is a position of critical importance so I am pleased to fill it with someone so highly qualified and competent."

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Press Release

Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today the appointment of David N. Burch as Superintendent at the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Intermountain School in Brigham City, Utah. Since 1970, Burch has been Deputy Assistant Area Director for Education in the Phoenix Area Office.

Intermountain was once the Bureau's largest school as an off-reservation boarding high school for Navajo Indian students. It is now an inter-tribal school, and the administration was transferred from the Navajo Area to the Phoenix Area last summer.

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Press Release

Eddie V. Edwards, a Choctaw Indian, has been appointed Assistant Area Director (Resources Management) for the Bureau of Indian Affairs Sacramento, California office, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

Edwards has been a Trust Services Specialist in the BIA's Washington Office of Trust Responsibilities.

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Press Release

George E. Keller, an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, has been appointed Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Rosebud, South Dakota Agency.

Keller has been the Community Services Officer at the agency the past four years.

Keller is a graduate of the Chadron State Teachers College, Chadron, Nebraska and has a Masters degree in education from South Dakota State University.

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Press Release

Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today that John J. Pereau, a Sioux Indian from the Fort Peck Reservation, has been appointed Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Crow Creek Agency in South Dakota. Pereau, Economic Development Officer at the agency, has been functioning as the Acting Superintendent since April of this year.

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Press Release

Casimir L. LeBeau, an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, has been named Assistant Area Director for the Bureau of Indian Affairs Minneapolis Area, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

LeBeau has been the Tribal Operations Officer in the Minneapolis Area since 1967. The office serves Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan.

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Press Release

Approximately 20 percent of the Central Arizona Project (CAP) agricultural water supply available under Arizona's basic entitlement to water from the Colorado River has been allocated to five Indian tribes by Secretary of the Interior Thomas S. Kleppe.

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Press Release

The BIA's Portland Area Office had a communications seminar October 12-13, at Kahneeta Lodge on the Warm Springs reservation. Representatives from the Northwest tribes and agencies talked with journalists and other media experts about ways and whys of improving Indian communications and public relations.

Most of the participants, an informal survey showed, thought some good things happened.

Don Sider from Time Magazine's Washington, D. C. bureau talked knowledgeable bout Indians' problems in getting accurate and adequate coverage in non-Indian publications.

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Press Release

Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today the appointment of Leo Brockie, Jr., as Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Rocky Boy's Agency at Box Elder, Montana.

Brockie, a Chippewa-Cree Indian, has been the Acting Superintendent t at Rocky Boy's during the past year. He was formerly the community services Officer at the Fort Belknap Agency at Harlem, Montana.

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Press Release

A plan for the use and distribution of $300,000 awarded to the Shawnee Indians by the Indian Claims commission is being published in the Federal Register, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

The award represents additional compensation for some 24,000 acres of land in Kansas sold in 1869.

According to the plan, approved by Congress and made effective March 5, 1976, approximately 40 percent of the award will go to the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma and the balance to the Cherokee Band of Shawnee.

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Press Release

A 1976 calendar of Indian celebrations, ceremonials, fairs and other special events open to the public has been published by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The 40-page pocket-size booklet is designed to provide tourists in Indian country with information about historical commemorations, arts and crafts fairs, rodeos, pow-wows, native dances, religious observances and other attractions.

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Press Release

A plan for the use and distribution of more than $400,000 awarded to the Mojave Indians by the Indian Claims Commission for lands taken more than a century ago by the United States is being published in the Federal Register.

The award will be divided between the Fort Mojave Tribe of the Fort Mojave Reservation and certain persons of Mojave ancestry from the Colorado River Reservation. Both reservations are located on the California-Arizona, border.

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Press Release

Ronald L. Esquerra, an enrolled member of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, has been appointed Director of the bureau of Indian Affair’s Albuquerque Area, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

Esquerra, 31, has been Executive Assistant to Commissioner Thompson the past two years. He will report Albuquerque in mid-June. He succeeds Walter O. Olson retired in 1974.

"Ron has been my right hand," Thompson said. "I know he has the ability to handle the important responsibilities of the Albuquerque Area. He has proven his competence."

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Press Release

Laura Bergt, a noted Eskimo leader, has been appointed as one of the five Commissioners of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Secretary of the Interior Thomas S. Kleppe announced today.

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Press Release

A plan for the use and distribution of more than $400,000 awarded to the Pillager Bands of Chippewa Indians by the Indian Claims Commission was published in the Federal Register on May 27, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson said today.

The Award represents additional compensation for some 814,000 acres of land in west central Minnesota cede to the United States under the treaty of August 21, 1847.

Chippewa descendants of the Pillager Bands are now affiliated with either the Leech Lake Reservation of the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota.

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Press Release

Anson A. Baker, an enrolled member of the Mandan-Hidatsa Tribe, has been appointed Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Blackfeet Agency at Browning, Montana, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

Baker has been Superintendent the past three years at the Fort Berthold Agency in North Dakota. He was previously Superintendent of the Crow and Fort Peck agencies in Montana.

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Press Release

Proposed amendments to the regulations governing the enrollment of Alaska Natives under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, as amended, were published in the Federal Register, June 4, 1976 Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

The proposed revision of the regulations is for the purpose of permitting the filing and review of applications for enrollment pursuant to the Act of January 2, 1976. This Act re-opened the rolls for those persons who missed the original enrollment deadline of March 30, 1973.

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Press Release

"Walk the High Iron," a documentary film about American Indians learning the iron workers' trade, is now available for use by Indian organizations from Bureau of Indian Affairs Area Offices.

The 28-minute film, which was cited for excellence at the 1975 Chicago International Film Festival, shows Indian trainees at a special school operated by the International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers under a contract with the BIA.

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Press Release

Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today the appointments of two members of the Flathead Indian Tribe as BIA Agency

Superintendents.

Stephen A. Lozar, 50, has been named Superintendent of the Crow Agency in Montana and Wyman J. McDonald appointed Superintendent of the Fort Hall Agency in Idaho.

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Press Release

A plan for the distribution of more than $1.5 million awarded to the Yakima Indian Tribe by the Indian Claims Commission is being published in the Federal Register, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

The award is additional compensation for land ceded by the Yakima Nation in 1859.

According to the plan, approved by Congress and made effective May 13, 1976, the funds will be distributed on a per capita basis to the enrolled members of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakima Indian Nation.

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Press Release

Charles M. Soller, Department of Interior assistant solicitor for Indian Affairs, died of cancer October 25 in Washington, D.C. He had been a key legal adviser to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for 20 years.

Seller received in September of this year the Interior Department's Superior Service Award for his work on behalf of Alaska Natives under the Alaska Native Claim Settlement Act. His compassion and sensitive response to need were cited in the award.

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Press Release

Richard C. Whitesell, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, has been appointed Assistant Area Director, Community Services, in the BIA's Phoenix Area Office, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

Whitesell has been Superintendent of the Flandreau Indian School at Flandreau, South Dakota.

A former marine, Whitesell was Education Program Administrator at Riverside Indian School in Oklahoma before going to Flandreau. He began
his career as an educator in the Brockton, Montana schools in 1961.

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Press Release

Anthony Whirlwind Horse, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, has been appointed Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs agency
on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

Whirlwind Horse has been the Education Program Administrator at the agency. He succeeds Albert Trimble who is now Tribal Chairman of
the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

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Press Release

Billie D. Ott has been appointed Assistant Director for Management Services in the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Office of Administration,
Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson announced today.

Ott, a member of the Choctaw Tribe of Oklahoma, has been Assistant Director for Support Services in the Administration office. In his new position he replaces Sidney Mills who is now Executive Assistant to the Commissioner.

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Press Release

Ralph F. Keen, a Cherokee Indian from Oklahoma, has been appointed Acting Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Office of Trust
Responsibilities, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Morris Thompson has announced.

In this position, Keen is responsible for the administration of more than 50 million acres of tribal lands held in trust by the United States.

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Press Release

Regulations governing the handling of minors' shares of judgment funds awarded to Indian tribes and distributed on a per capita basis are being published in the Federal Register, it was announced by the Bureau of Indian Affairs today.

The regulations establish certain restrictions and requirements designed to preserve and protect the per capita shares of minors and other legally incompetent persons as mandated in the Indian Judgment Funds Act of 1973.

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Press Release

A draft environmental impact statement on a proposal to surface mine Crow Indian and State-owned coal from more than 2,000 acres in south central Montana has been prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior, and released for public comment.

The statement, filed with the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), discusses the environmental effects of a proposed expansion of Westmoreland Resources existing Absaloka Coal Mine to 2,151 acres (870 hectares) in Crow Indian Ceded Lands in northern Big Horn County just north of the Crow Indian Reservation.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Thomas S. Kleppe and officers of the Alaska Native Regional Corporation, Konaig, Inc., today signed an agreement which will facilitate the conveyance of more than one million acres of land to the Corporation and its associated village corporations under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

The agreement provides the mechanism for processing land selections in the Konaig region and effecting conveyance of the land despite litigation pending in court.

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Press Release

Dr. Robert Hall, Bureau of Indian Affairs Director of Special Education, has been elected Secretary/Treasurer of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, Inc.

The Association is composed of people within state education agencies having statewide responsibilities for the education of exceptional children, both handicapped and gifted. The BIA's federal school system is considered for administrative purposes, comparable to a state system.

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Press Release

Washington, D.C. --The National Endowment for the Humanities announces 14 grant awards for Native American projects in 11 states. These awards will provide for developing exhibitions, planning radio and television programs, establishing course curriculum, preparing oral histories, and presenting scholarly works.

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Press Release

Ben Reifel, a former South Dakota Congressman and an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, has accepted a "recess appointment" as Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

President Ford announced the appointment of Reifel December 7 following a recommendation by Secretary of the Interior Thomas S. Kleppe. Reifel succeeds Morris Thompson who left the post November 3 to return to Alaska as Vice President of the Alcan Pipeline Co.

Reifel will take the oath of office in a ceremony in Secretary Kleppe's office at 3:30 p.m. today.

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Press Release

The final environmental impact statement for the Westmoreland Resources
Crow Ceded Area coal leases, pertaining to more than 30,000 acres of land in
Bighorn County, Montana, is now available to the public, Commissioner of
Indian Affairs Ben Reifel announced today.

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Press Release

Chemawa School at Salem, Oregon is the oldest Indian school in the United States --soon to celebrate its centennial --but it is, in at least one way, like an adolescent.

Chemawa is going through a difficult time of transition.

The school was started at Forest Grove, Oregon in 1880 when not many people worried about education for Indians. (The nation's first Federal Indian school, Carlisle Institute in Pennsylvania, was started just one year earlier.) In 1885, the school was moved to Salem and in 1886 reached an enrollment of 200 youngsters from the tribes of the Northwest.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Thomas S. Kleppe has notified the Governor of Alaska that the State will be allowed an additional 90 days --until April 1 --to exercise an exclusive preference right to select lands described in Section 11 of the Alaska Native Claims
Settlement Act.

Generally, these Section 11 lands are the 9 townships surrounding Alaska Native Villages. Until October 1, 1976, these lands were held by the Federal Government exclusively for Alaska Natives to make selections.

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