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

Secretary of the Interior Thomas S. Kleppe announced today that he had approved a tribal tax on coal mining on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana and a tribal zoning ordinance for the Fort Hall Reservation in Idaho.

In both instances, the tribal laws call for the exercise of jurisdiction by the Indian tribe over non-Indians on the reservation. The question of tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians in civil matters has become a major issue in many parts of the country.

Date: to
Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has requested an increase of $64.4 million in appropriated funds for fiscal year 1978. The Bureau's request submitted January 17 to Congress as part of the President's budget, asks for $842.3 million. This includes $654.7 for the operation of Indian programs: $87.2 million for the construction of irrigation systems, buildings and utilities; $70.3 for road construction, and $30 million for payments under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

Date: to
Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Thomas S. Kleppe today announced approval of a major uranium exploration and development agreement between the Navajo Nation and the EXXON Corporation.

The agreement gives EXXON the fight to explore or prospect for uranium in a 400,000 acre tract on the Navajo Reservation in San Juan County, New Mexico. If ore in sufficient quantities to warrant development is discovered, EXXON is authorized to take a total of 51,200 acres to lease for mining purposes.

Date: to
Press Release

Stanley M. Speaks, a member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, has been appointed Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Anadarko, Oklahoma area, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Ben Reifel announced today.

The Anadarko area includes the western half of Oklahoma and the State of Kansas. Speaks whose appointment was effective January 16, has been Superintendent of the BIA agency at Anadarko, one of the area's five agency offices.

In the 1974-75 school year Speaks was the Acting Superintendent of the Intermountain Indian School at Brigham City, Utah.

Date: to
Press Release

Donald Dodge, a member of the Navajo Tribe, has been appointed Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Navajo Area, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Ben Reifel announced today.

One of 12 BIA regional jurisdictions, the Navajo Area serves only the one tribe, by far the Nation's largest, and one reservation of some 14 million acres in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Dodge has been the Superintendent of the Fort Defiance Agency on the reservation since 1972. He was earlier the Administrative Manager at Fort Defiance and the Tribal Operations Officer in the Area Office.

Date: to
Press Release

John Buffalohorn has been appointed Superintendent of the Northern Cheyenne Agency at Lame Dear, Montana, the Bureau of Indian Affairs announced today.

Buffalohorn, who is a full-blood member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, has been Superintendent of the BIA Fort Totten Agency in North Dakota.

An Army veteran, Buffalohorn, began his career with the BIA in 1954, at the Haskell Institute (now Haskell Indian Junior College). He has been stationed at agencies in Oklahoma, North Dakota and Montana.

Date: to
Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus pledged the full cooperation of his Department in carrying out the five-year plan for the allocation of Columbia River fish runs which was announced today.

"I want to extend my earnest personal congratulations to all those who have worked so effectively to achieve this equitable solution to the volatile situations arising from the implementation of the mandates of the courts on Indian fishing rights," Secretary Andrus said.

Date: to
Press Release

For draft documents recommending ways to improve Indian education programs are now available for review and comment by interested persons, the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Director of Indian Education Programs William Demmert announced today.

Demmert said that the papers deal with "major matters of immediate concern to me." He said that he hoped Indian tribal governments, school boards, parents and other citizens would take the opportunity to read the documents and make their suggestions.

Date: to
Press Release

A long-range plan to give Indian schools and communities better library services is being developed by the Department of the Interior through its Office of Library and Information Services and the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Office of Indian Education Programs.

Interior's professional librarians, together with BIA educators, are working on the project. They are being assisted by five resource persons with special experience and knowledge.

Date: to
Press Release

President Jimmy Carter showed a special interest in Indian affairs when he visited the Department of the Interior Friday, February 18.

The President, scheduled to speak to Interior employees in the Department's auditorium, came early, went directly to the fourth floor wing housing the Commissioner of Indian Affairs' offices, shook hands and exchanged greetings with BIA staffers in the hall and then visited with Acting Commissioner Raymond V. Butler for a few minutes.

Date: to
Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Thomas S. Kleppe has signed a decision on coal leases and options to lease on the Crow Indian reservation which he said he, hoped would result in the discontinuance of a lawsuit filed by the Crow Tribe challenged the validity of the leases.

Date: to
Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus announced today that he has asked Indian tribal leaders to recommend nominees "to head this nation's highest post relating to Indian affairs." He said this position had formerly been that of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, but would be according to Departmental plans, raised to the rank of Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs.

Date: to
Press Release

The United States Department of Justice informed a Federal Court February 28 that it intended to follow a modified Interior Department recommendation to pursue Passamaquoddy and Penobscot Indian claims to millions of acres of land in the State of Maine.

Interior's recommendation updates a draft litigation report sent to the Justice Department in January. The February 25 report, signed by Frederick N. Ferguson, Acting Deputy Solicitor for Interior, still asks for the return of land as well as trespass damages. It includes, however, two changes agreed to by the tribes.

Date: to
Press Release

Alonzo T. Spang has been appointed Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Wind River agency at Fort Washakie, Wyoming, Acting Commissioner Raymond V. Butler announced today.

Spang, a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, has been the Resources Development Officer in the BIA's Billings, Montana area office. He replaces Clyde W. Hobbs who retired after 15 years as Superintendent of the Wind River Agency.

Date: to
Press Release

Vincent Little has been appointed Director of the Portland Area for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Acting Commissioner Raymond V. Butler announced today.

The area includes the states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho. There are eight agency offices in the area.

Little, a member of the Mohave Tribe, has been Superintendent of the Northern Idaho Agency at Lapwai, Idaho.

Date: to
Press Release

Proposed regulations to govern the preparation of a roll of Grand River Ottawa Indians are being published in the Federal Register, Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs Raymond V. Butler announced today. The roll will be used for a per capita distribution of about one million dollars awarded by the Indian Claims Commission.

A question about the payment of these funds was put to President Carter during his telephone-question program March 5. It was asked by Mrs. John Ritchie of Georgetown, Ky., who identified herself as a member of the tribe.

Date: to
Press Release

The appointment of Rebecca H. Dotson as Assistant Area Director for Education in the Navajo area was announced today by Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs Raymond V. Butler.

Date: to
Press Release

Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs Raymond V. Butler announced today the appointment of Wayne H. Chattin, Jay T. Suagee, and Joe G. Weller to top positions in a newly created Division of Self-Determination Services within the Office of Indian Services in Washington, D.C.

The division will have responsibilities related to the implementation of Public Law 93-638, the Indian, Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act.

Date: to
Press Release

James L. McCabe, a Navajo Indian, has been appointed Supervisory General Engineer for the San Carlos Irrigation Project at Coolidge, Arizona, Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs Raymond V. Butler announced today.

McCabe, 42, has been working this past year in the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Phoenix Area Office.

A graduate of Utah State University, McCabe has his degree in civil and irrigation engineering. He has also attended Iowa State University and George Washington University and has participated in the Department of the Interior Management Training Program.

Date: to
Press Release

Proposed rules governing the adoption of tribal water codes on Indian reservations were published March 17 in the Federal Register, Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs Raymond v. Butler announced today.

The regulations, designed to preserve and protect Indian water rights, establish the standards which tribal codes must meet to be approved by the Secretary of the Interior when such approval is required.

Date: to
Press Release

Jack N. Rumsey has been appointed Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Agency at Wewoka, Oklahoma, Acting Commissioner Raymond V. Butler announced today.

Rumsey, a Creek Indian, succeeds Buford Morrison who retired. The Wewoka Agency, located east of Oklahoma City, is one of six agencies under the Muskogee Area Office of BIA.

Date: to
Press Release

The contributions of Dr. William J. Benham, Jr., to Indian education programs in the United States were cited in a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on March 23.

Benham, a Creek Indian from Holdenville, Oklahoma, is the director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Indian Education Resources Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Date: to
Press Release

Three units of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Indian Education Resources Center in Albuquerque were cited for excellence of service by Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus March 28.

Department of the Interior Unit Citation Awards were presented to division chiefs by the Resources Center Administrator Dr. William J. Benham, Jr., representing the Secretary. The brief ceremony was part of a general staff meeting at the Center.

Date: to
Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus told Bureau of Indian Affairs employees March 31 that he has taken no position - pro or con - on the American Indian Policy Review Commission recommendation to remove Indian affairs from the Department of the Interior in favor of a separate, independent agency.

Date: to
Press Release

The Attorney General, Secretary of Commerce and Secretary of the Interior today announced they will serve for the Carter Administration as a task force to work on the Washington state salmon fishing controversy.

The controversy involves the development of salmon fishing in the context of Indian treaty rights and the economic problems of non-Indian fishermen. The task force will seek to develop discussions that will lead to long-range protection, management and enhancement of the salmon fishing industry.

Date: to
Press Release

Proposed new regulations governing mining and mineral development contracts on Indian lands were published in the Federal Register April 5, Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs Raymond v. Butler announced today.

Butler said that "new regulations, when completed and made effective, will have a major impact on the Indian community by furthering Indian self-determination, providing for new types of mineral development contracts and reflecting national and tribal environmental concerns. "

Date: to
Press Release

Prompted by a drought-related crisis in the water-short Pacific Northwest, Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus has urged the Federal Power Commission to intercede in a water use dispute which involves the spring run of salmon in the Columbia River.

In the spring, young salmon (called smolts) about 4 inches long begin a migration from freshwater where they hatch to the open sea where they mature. In the autumn, three years later mature salmon return from the ocean and swim upstream to spawn.

Date: to
Press Release

Under Secretary of the Interior James Joseph met April 13 with a delegation from the Crow Indian Tribe from Montana.

Joseph told the delegation the Department of the Interior stands solidly behind its trust obligation to Indian tribes to protect their lands and natural resources and supported strong tribal governments.

Date: to
Press Release

Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs Raymond V. Butler announced today that he has extended the period for review and comment on proposed regulations governing the adoption of tribal water codes on Indian reservations published in the Federal Register March 17. The deadline has been extended from April 18 to June 2, 1977.

The regulations establish standards which tribal water codes must meet to be approved by the Secretary of the Interior.

Tribal water codes deal with the use on reservations of water subject to tribal control.

Date: to
Press Release

A plan for the distribution and use of more than $200,000 awarded to Seneca Indians by the Indian Claims Commission is being published in the Federal Register, Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs Raymond V. Butler announced today.

The award is for certain land areas in New York State sold by the Indians between 1802 and 1826. The funds are to be divided between the Seneca Nation of Indians and the Tonawanda Band of Senecas on the basis of their respective tribal memberships as of January 29, 1977, the effective date of this plan.

Date: to
Press Release

Leo M. Krulitz, the Solicitor of the Department of the Interior, said today that unless Indian tribes can fully utilize their natural resources, the opportunity to determine their own future will hold little promise for them.

In an address to the two-day conference of the Federal Bar Association in Phoenix, Arizona, on Indian law, Krulitz said: "Self-determination will mean little to many Native Americans if the Federal trustee does not insure that water rights are preserved.

Date: to
Press Release

Edmund Manydeeds, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, has been named Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Great Lakes Agency at Ashland, Wisconsin, Acting Commissioner Raymond v. Butler announced today.

Manydeeds has been at the agency since 1960 and has been the Acting Superintendent the past year.

A World War II veteran, Manydeeds earned both a B.S. and M.S. in Education at North State College, South Dakota.

Manydeeds, 55, began working with the BIA in 1948 as a teacher at the Cheyenne River Agency, South Dakota.

Date: to
Press Release

Regulations governing the administration of funds to assist Indian irrigation projects and fisheries under the Drought Emergency Act of April 7, 1977, are being published in the Federal Register, Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs Raymond V. Butler announced today.

The regulations tell how qualified applicants may obtain funds to remedy some detrimental effects of the 1976-77 drought. Provisions are made for short-term actions to increase water supplies and to repair, or improve water supply facilities.

Date: to
Press Release

Daniel D. McDonald, Director of Tribal Resources Development for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, died Saturday, April 16.

A Nez Perce/Flathead Indian, McDonald was one of four program directors in the Bureau. His office was responsible for assisting Indians through the development of business enterprises, credit and financing, and manpower training and placement programs. It also provided technical assistance to tribes in road construction and maintenance. He was appointed to this position in April, 1974.

Date: to
Press Release

Regulations governing BIA responsibilities in the former Navajo-Hopi Joint Use Area were published in the Federal Register April 26, Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs Raymond V. Butler announced today.

Date: to
Press Release

Wilson Barber has been appointed Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Agency on the Mescalero Apache Reservation, Acting Deputy Commissioner Raymond V. Butler announced today.

Barber, a Navajo, has been Superintendent of the Cheyenne River Agency at Eagle Butte, South Dakota.

Barber, 35, attended the University of New Mexico. He worked for the Navajo Tribe and for the BIA on the Navajo Reservation before going to Cheyenne River in 1975.

His appointment of the Mescalero Reservation in south-central New Mexico becomes effective June 5.

Date: to
Press Release

The 1977 calendar of Indian fairs, exhibits, ceremonials, dances, feasts and other celebrations is now available, the Bureau of Indian Affairs announced today.

Most of the events in the state-by-state listings occur in the summer or fall months and are open to tourists and other visitors. The pocket-size booklet lists more than 500 items, giving the nature of the activity, dates and locations.

The booklet also contains some summary information about Indians in the United States and the addresses of Bureau of Indian Affairs' field offices.

Date: to
Press Release

The final environmental impact statement on the proposed Navajo-El Paso/Consolidation Coal Lease and Mining Plan on the Navajo Reservation, San Juan County, New Mexico has been completed. Copies of the statement have been filed with the Council on Environmental Quality and a notice of availability published in the Federal Register by the Department of the Interior.

Date: to
Press Release

Under Secretary of the Interior James A. Joseph said today that Indian affairs are now a major priority within the Department of the Interior.

In an address before the National Tribal Chairmen's Association in Atlanta, Georgia, tonight, Joseph described five areas of concern to Indian people in which progress is being made in the Department: internal changes; the commitment to Indian self-determination; the approach to economic development on Indian reservations; the protection of Indian rights; and the development of Indian policy.

Date: to
Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus and Chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Wayne Ducheneaux jointly announced today that the Department of the Interior has agreed to adopt environmental regulations enacted by the tribe to govern mineral development and oil and gas leasing activities on tribal and allotted land within the tribe's reservation in South Dakota.

Date: to
Press Release

Proposed regulations governing eligibility for preference in employment in the Bureau of Indian Affairs are being published in the Federal Register, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Indian Affairs Raymond V. Butler announced today.

The regulations define the term "Indian" for purposes of initial hire, promotions, transfers and all other appointments to vacancies in the Bureau.

Those persons entitled to Indian preference, according to the regulations are:

Date: to
Press Release

Notice is being published in the Federal Register that the deadline for comments on proposed regulations concerning the development of tribal water codes on reservations has been further extended to July 15, 1977, the Bureau of Indian Affairs. announced today.

The proposed regulations were published March 17, with 30 days allowed for review and comment, Subsequently, this period was extended to June 2.

The extension to July 15 is in response to requests from interested persons.

Date: to
Press Release

Alvin G. Picotte, a member of the Yankton Sioux Tribe, has been named Superintendent of the Flandreau Indian School, South Dakota, the Bureau of Indian Affairs announced today.

Picotte has been since 1973 an Assistant Principal in the Minneapolis Public Schools system.

Date: to
Press Release

A final environmental impact statement on a proposal to mine Crow Indian and state-owned coal from nearly 2,000 acres in south-central Montana has been prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior, and filed with the Council on Environmental Quality.

The statement discusses the environmental effects of a proposed expansion of Westmoreland Resources' existing Absaloka Coal Mine by 1,958 acres (792 hectares) in Crow Indian Ceded Lands in northern Big Horn County just north of the Crow Indian Reservation.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior announced today that it plans to distribute more than $14 million to the Absentee Delaware Tribe of Western Oklahoma and the Cherokee Delaware Tribe of Oklahoma on September 15, 1977.

The money was awarded to the Delawares by the Indian Claims Commission as compensation for land taken by the United States in violation of an 1854 treaty.

Date: to
Press Release

Proposed regulations establishing procedures and policy for determining whether an Indian group is a federally recognized Indian tribe are being published in the Federal Register, the Bureau of Indian Affairs announced today.

The proposed regulations have been developed to enable the Secretary of the Interior to review objectively the increasing number of petitions submitted by Indian groups requesting Federal recognition. The regulations do not apply to any group which has already been acknowledged by the Secretary as constituting a federally recognized Indian tribe.

Date: to
Press Release

Members of eight Washington State Indian tribes will be provided an extra day each week, under long standing treaty rights, to fish for sockeye and pink salmon this season which begins June 26, the Department of the Interior reported.

Date: to
Press Release

Under Secretary of the Interior James A. Joseph today announced his decision to revoke the 1965 Secretarial notice which adopted the land use laws of the City of Palm Springs and the State of California for Indian lands on the Agua Caliente Reservation located within the city.

Date: to
Press Release

Notice is being published in the Federal Register that about 35,000 acres of land within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota has been declared excess by the Air Force, and administrative jurisdiction has been transferred to the Secretary of the Interior.

The land had been part of the Badlands Air Force Gunnery Range. It was formerly part of the reservation trust lands.

Date: to
Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus announced today that he has decided to take no action on the proposed Navajo-El Paso/Consolidation Coal lease and mining plan until the royalty rate is renegotiated.

In a letter to Peter MacDonald, chairman, of the Navajo Tribal Council, Andrus said: "I have concluded that, as trustee, I cannot approve a lease which would return to the beneficiaries of the trust less than I would be required by law to charge for the trustee's, in this case the Nation's, identical resources."

Date: to
Press Release

Interior Department Solicitor Leo M. Krulitz announced today that on June 29 the Department made a final recommendation to the Justice Department to bring actions on behalf of three Indian tribes to recover lands in New York State. The Justice Department has agreed to bring the suits. Two claims were first referred to Justice in 1975 and the third was initially referred in 1976.

Date: to
Press Release

William V. Battese, a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Indian Tribe of Kansas, has been named Superintendent of the Anadarko Indian Agency in Oklahoma, the Bureau of Indian Affairs announced today. His appointment is effective July 3.

Battese has been, since 1974, Assistant Area Director for Administration in the BIA's Portland, Oregon office. He succeeds Stanley Speaks who is now the Area Director at Anadarko.

Date: to
Press Release

Regulations to extend the filing period for persons applying for membership on the roll of Grand River Ottawa Indians to be used for the distribution of more than $932,000 awarded by the Indian Claims Commission are being published in the Federal Register, the Bureau of Indian Affairs announced today.

In regulations published May 25, 1977 the deadline for filing was September 2, 1977. With the extension, the new deadline will be November 1, 1977.

Date: to
Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus today announced two top Indian Affairs appointments in the Department of the Interior.

George Vincent Goodwin, Jr., a member of the White Earth Chippewa Tribe now a Bureau of Indian Affairs Area Director at Minneapolis, was named Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, and Thomas w. Fredericks, a member of the Mandan-Hidatsa Tribe, was appointed Associate Solicitor for Indian Affairs.

Date: to
Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus said today that he was very pleased with President Carter's nomination of Forrest J. Gerard to be the first Assistant Secretary of the interior for Indian Affairs.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior announced today that it plans to distribute more than $14 million to the Absentee Delaware Tribe of Western Oklahoma and the Cherokee Delaware Tribe of Oklahoma on July 14, 1977.

The Department announced June 16 that it planned to make the distribution September 15, 1977, but that it would modify its plans for distribution of the funds in accord with any forthcoming court order. Last week the Oklahoma Delawares were given a writ of mandamus requiring the Department to make payment "forthwith."

Date: to
Press Release

A final environmental impact statement concerning the long-term leasing of Tesuque Pueblo Reservation lands north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, for residential development use by the Sangre de Cristo Development Company is now available to the public, the Bureau of Indian Affairs announced today.

Date: to
Press Release

J. Kenneth Adams, a member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe, has been named Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Agency at Sisseton, South Dakota.

Adams has been the Administrative Officer at the agency. He has been serving as the acting superintendent for the past ten months.

Date: to
Press Release

Because of widespread interest, the opportunity to comment on a draft environmental impact statement for the proposed operating criteria for the Lower Carson-Lower Truckee River Basins is being extended, the Bureau of Indian Affairs announced today.

Notice was published in the Federal Register August 2, 1977 that the deadline for written comments has been changed from July 9 to September 30 and that a supplemental hearing will be held September 22 in the Jot Travis Auditorium, University of Nevada, Reno.

Date: to
Press Release

Gordon E. Cannon, a Kiowa Indian, has been appointed Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Fort Totten Agency, North Dakota. The appointment is effective August 28.

Cannon, 39, has been the Realty Officer at the Colville Agency, Nespelem, Washington the past three years.

A graduate of the Holy Rosary Mission School on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, Cannon worked for eleven years in the BIA's Portland Area Office, Oregon. He has also worked at the Western Washington Agency and the Hoopa Agency. He is a U.S. Army veteran.

Date: to
Press Release

Peter Three Stars, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, has been named superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Western Washington Agency at Everett, Washington. The appointment is effective August 28.

Three Stars, 50, has been superintendent of the BIA agency at Bethel, Alaska since 1974.

A World War II Army veteran, Three Stars has worked with BIA for 27 years. He has been a teacher, worked in job placement programs and for many years was a specialist in tribal government services. He worked in the Bureau's Central Office in Washington, D.C., from 1971 to 1974.

Date: to
Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus said today that he was approving "with great satisfaction" a renegotiated coal mining lease between the Navajo Indian Tribe and a partnership composed of the El Paso Natural Gas Company and the Consolidation Coal Company.

Peter MacDonald, Chairman of the Navajo Tribe, and officials of the Department concluded negotiations August 11, 1977 with Consolidation Coal Company and El Paso Natural Gas Company for a coal mining lease covering more than 40,000 acres on the Navajo Reservation.

Date: to
Press Release

William P. Ragsdale, a Cherokee Indian, has been appointed Superintendent of the Uintah and Ouray Agency, Fort Duchesne, Utah, the Bureau of Indian Affairs announced today.

Ragsdale replaces William Streitz who was transferred to the Phoenix Area Office as Indian Trust Protection Officer.

A graduate of Central State College, Edmond, Oklahoma, Ragsdale has been Acting Superintendent at the agency and has been a participant in a Superintendent Intern program at the area office.

Date: to
Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has extended the time allowed for comment on proposed procedures governing the determination that an Indian group is a federally recognized Indian tribe.

Because of numerous requests for more time to review these procedures, published in the Federal Register June 16, the new deadline will be September 18, 1977.

Notice of this extension is being published in the Federal Register.

Date: to
Press Release

Interior Secretary Cecil D. Andrus said today he has approved, with some modifications, the mining and reclamation plan by Westmoreland Resources to strip mine Crow Indian and state-owned coal from nearly 2,000 acres in Crow Indian Ceded Lands in south-central Montana.

Date: to
Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has announced the appointment of Norman L. Tippeconnic as Superintendent of the San Carlos Indian Agency, Arizona. His appointment is effective August 28.

Tippeconnic, a Comanche, has been Superintendent of the Hoopa Agency in California since 1971.

Tippeconnic, 44, attended Oklahoma State University. He came to work for the BIA in 1959 at Gallup, New Mexico. He was the Supply Management Officer at the Bureau's Data Center in Albuquerque before taking the Hoopa job.

Date: to
Press Release

Dr. William J. Benham, Jr., Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Indian Education Resources Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico has been selected for a year of special study at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Benham will begin in September a mid-career program "designed to broaden the perspective and increase the professional competence of Federal employees." He will resume his duties in Albuquerque in June, 1978.

Date: to
Press Release

The Secretary of the Interior has disapproved a lease entered into in 1970 between the Tesuque Pueblo and the Sangre de Cristo Development Company.

Under the terms of the 99-year lease Sangre de Cristo planned to develop approximately 5,400 acres of tribal lands north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, for commercial, residential and recreational purposes.

Date: to
Press Release

The LaPointe Indian Cemetery, burial place of the Chippewa Chief Great Buffalo, has been listed in The National Register of Historic Places, the Bureau of Indian Affairs announced today.

The cemetery is located on Madeline Island, in Lake Superior off the coast of Wisconsin. The property is held in trust by the United States for the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.

Date: to
Press Release

Work is progressing on plans for the all-Indian halftime program during the Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys National Football League Game in Washington November 27, according to Dr. Louis W. Ballard, Director of Music Programs for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Dr. Ballard said he has received applications from more than 600 Indian high school musicians to participate in the halftime show. He said a series of competitions will be held in various parts of the country to select the 150 young musicians who will make up the marching band.

Date: to
Press Release

Solicitor Leo M. Krulitz announced today that the Interior Department is recommending to the Department of Justice that legal action be started on behalf of the Catawba Indian Tribe to recover its 140,000 acre reservation in South Carolina.

The proposed suit would be similar to actions now pending on behalf of the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot Indians land claims in Maine and the land claims of three tribes in New York State.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior is publishing in the Federal Register a notice that 120,681.25 acres of lands formerly under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management will be held in trust by the United States for the Navajo Indians, for use in connection with an irrigation project.

Date: to
Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has appointed. Jack C. Naylor, a Choctaw Indian, Superintendent of its Miami Agency, Miami, Oklahoma.

Naylor, 42, has been on the faculty of the Haskell Indian Junior College at Lawrence, Kansas, since 1964. He has been a department head, dean of instruction for vocational and technical subjects and coordinator of institutional evaluation. He has been Acting Superintendent of the Horton, Kansas Agency this summer.

Date: to
Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Cecil D, Andrus announced today that he has asked the Department of Justice to file protective notices of appeal from a federal District Court decision involving reservations of easements on Alaskan lands conveyed to Natives.

Date: to
Press Release

Proposed regulations to implement the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, insofar as it pertains to coal mining on Indian lands, were published in the Federal Register September 15 by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The proposed regulations are intended to bring surface coal mining activity on the Indian lands into compliance with the environmental safeguard and reclamation requirements imposed by the Act.

Written comments on the regulations should be sent by October 14 to the Office of Trust Responsibilities, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C. 20240.

Date: to
Press Release

Forrest J. Gerard, the recently confirmed Interior Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, today challenged national Indian leaders to join in the preparing a national policy statement on Indian affairs.

Gerard made the challenge in an address at the 34th annual convention of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) in Dallas, Texas.

Date: to
Press Release

Donald E. Loudner, a member of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, has been appointed Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs agency at Horton, Kansas.

Loudner has been Superintendent of the Yankton Agency at Wagner South Dakota. He was for six years a member of the South Dakota Indian Commission and for about 20 years served as a liaison with Indian tribes in the state for Mitchell, South Dakota. He also functioned as a consultant for the public school system there.

Date: to
Press Release

Forrest J. Gerard was ceremonially installed as the Department of the Interior's first Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs October 13.

Before an audience of Indian leaders, Congressional representatives and Interior Department officials, Interior Secretary Cecil D. Andrus formally administered the oath of office to Gerard.

Date: to
Press Release

Interior Department officials have recommended that the United States oppose the June 1977 ruling of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) which has the effect of banning the subsistence hunting of bowhead whales by Alaskan Eskimos.

Interior under Secretary James A. Joseph proposed this position to Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance in an October 10 letter in which he said, "Our trust responsibility to this Native American population cannot be ignored or subjugated to other concerns."

Date: to
Press Release

A proposed revision of the program description for vocational training and the establishment of a program for employment assistance for adult Indians are being published in the Federal Register, the Bureau of Indian Affairs announced today.

Date: to
Press Release

Richard C. Whitesell, an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe,, has been named Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Flathead Agency at Ronan, Montana, Assistant Secretary Forrest J. Gerard announced today. Whitesell's appointment will be effective November 6.

Whitesell has been Assistant Area Director for Community Services in the BIA's Phoenix, Arizona office for the past year. He was the Education Program Administrator at the Flandreau Indian School in South Dakota from 1971 to 1976 and at the Riverside: School in Oklahoma 1969-71.

Date: to
Press Release

The Departments of "the Interior and Commerce announced today the addition of representatives of the Department's Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to the federal task force working to attain a settlement of the salmon fishing controversy in Washington state.

Date: to
Press Release

The Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Chippewa Indians of Northern Wisconsin has taken action to correct accounting deficiencies and other irregularities in the administration of Federal funds received under contract with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior Assistant Secretary Forrest J. Gerard said today.

A BIA audit, completed this spring, revealed several problems including the failure to maintain adequate records, violation of contract terms, unauthorized payments to a tribal official and a total lack of accounting controls.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior has scheduled a hearing on the Klamath River fishing situation November 15 at Eureka, California, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Forrest Gerard announced today.

The purpose of the hearing is to receive and record the views of persons not eligible to exercise Indian fishing rights, and who are interested in the Indian fishery on the Klamath river system. It will be an information gathering meeting only.

Date: to
Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs announced today that Harley G. Little, a Creek Indian, has been appointed Superintendent of the Okmulgee Agency, Oklahoma.

Little, 47, has been Tribal Operations Officer in the BIA's Area Office at Muskogee, Oklahoma. He succeeds Linus Gwinn who has retired after 13 years as Superintendent at Okmulgee.

Little attended Bacone Junior College, earned a B.A. in History and Education at Northeastern State, Tahlequah, Oklahoma and a Masters in Guidance and Education from the University of Oklahoma at Norman.

Date: to
Press Release

Interior's Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Forrest J. Gerard has extended the November 28 deadline during which the Crow Tribe was to establish a coal negotiating committee and has directed Bureau of Indian Affairs officials in Montana to continue efforts to help the Crow Tribe to establish a committee that would be supported by the major interest groups of the tribe.

Date: to
Press Release

Under Secretary of the Interior James A. Joseph announced today the appointment of a task force to develop recommendations for the Secretary on the reorganization of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

"Secretary Andrus wants to insure that the trust responsibilities of the Federal Government are carried out effectively, that services to Native American people are provided efficiently and that tribal governments are strengthened," Joseph said.

Date: to
Press Release

A plan for the distribution and use of more than $550,000 awarded by the Indian Claims Commission to the Fort Mojave Tribe of Indians is being published in the Federal Register, Interior Assistant Secretary Forrest Gerard announced today.

The funds are additional compensation for reservation lands taken as a result of the construction of the Parker Dam in 1940. The Fort Mojave Reservation lies at the juncture of the southern tip of Nevada with California and Arizona, and includes lands in all three states.

Date: to
Press Release

A plan for the distribution and use of more than $8 million awarded to Saginaw, Swan Creek and Black River Chippewa Indians is being published in the Federal Register, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Forrest Gerard announced today.

The judgment award, granted by the Indian Claims Commission, is additional compensation for more than seven million acres of land in Michigan ceded by the Indians to the United States by the treaty of September 24, 1819.

Date: to
Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus announced today approval an agreement between the Gila River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the Kennecott Copper Corp. to settle a long-standing dispute over water rights in Arizona's Gila River watershed.

Under the agreement, the Indians consent to Kennecott's continued use of water from Mineral Creek, a tributary of the Gila River, in its mining operation upstream from the Indian Reservation.

Date: to
Press Release

Department of the interior Solicitor Leo M. Krulits has asked the Justice Department to appeal a Federal District Court decision against the Government and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe of Nevada, which seeks Truckee River water rights to maintain a fishery on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation.

Date: to
Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Thomas s. Kleppe has signed a decision on coal leases and options to lease on the Crow Indian reservation which he said he, hoped would result in the discontinuance of a lawsuit filed by the Crow Tribe challenged the validity of the leases.

Date: to
Press Release

The Department of the Interior today gave copies of final draft litigation reports on the land claims of the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot Indian tribes in the State of Maine to the Attorney General of that State and attorneys for the tribes. The draft report was delivered earlier in the week to the Justice I Department.

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