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News by Year

Press Release

Perry D. Parton, a member of the Pawnee Tribe, has been named Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Jicarilla agency at Dulce, New Mexico, Commissioner of Indian Affairs William Hallett announced today.

Parton has been field Representative for the Zuni agency since January of 1978. He had previously been Administrative Manager of the Colorado River and Hopi agencies.

A United States Air Force veteran, Parton worked for Lockheed Aircraft and other private employers as an accountant, industrial relations representative and in other administrative roles.

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Press Release

The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of South Dakota has selected Cyrin F. Maus for a two-year tribal management assignment under the Tribal Managers Corps (TMC), Commissioner of Indian Affairs William E. Hallett announced today. Maus, who will begin his general management assignment at Lower Brule in January, 1981, will be the first manager assigned under TMC.

"We are very please that Mr. Maus has decided to come to Lower Brule because he has a lot of valuable experience in tribal government," said Lower Brule spokesman D. L. Fallis.

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Press Release

Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Thomas W. Fredericks announced today that proposed regulations governing business practices on Indian reservations were published January 6 in the Federal Register.

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Press Release

Commissioner of Indian Affairs William Hallett announced today a policy, pursuant to the Anti-Deficiency Act, to assure that the Bureau of Indian Affairs does not spend more than Congress entitles it to spend.

The policy prohibits all area directors and program directors from obligating funds in excess of Congressional appropriations, on penalty of “appropriate administrative discipline, including, when circumstances warrant, suspension from duty without pay, or removal from office.”

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Press Release

Regulations establishing procedures for Indian tribes seeking to form tribal constitutions or charters, or make changes in existing ones, were published in the Federal Register January 7, Commissioner of Indian Affairs William E. Hallett said today.

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Press Release

The American Indian Task Force of the Small Community and Rural Development Policy (SCRD) has focused its activity on four high priority concerns of American Indians, according to an updated report from Deputy Assistant Secretary Thomas Fredericks. As task force co-chairman, he identified the four concerns as 1) tribal consultation, 2) information systems, 3) Federal assistance management systems (FAMS), and 4) housing.

The Administration established the Indian Task Force last August to improve coordination and delivery of Federal services to American Indians.

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Press Release

Proposed regulations establishing uniform procedures for federal land managers to protect and conserve archeological resources on public and Indian lands have been published in the Federal Register of January 19, 1981.

The proposed regulations would implement the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (P. L. 96-95) which was signed by President Carter on October 31, 1979.

The Archaeological Resources Protection Act has two major purposes:

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Press Release

Wyman J. McDonald, a member of the Flathead Tribe, has been appointed superintendent of the BIA's Northern Idaho Agency at Lapwai, Idaho. He succeeds Jerry Jaeger who is now the BIA area director at Aberdeen, South Dakota.

McDonald was superintendent of the Fort Hall Agency, Idaho since 1976 and had earlier been superintendent of the Mescalero Apache Agency in New Mexico.

A former Marine, McDonald, 42, is a graduate of the University of Montana.

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Press Release

John A. Jollie, an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe of North Dakota, has been selected as the new coordinator of the Tribal Managers Corps (TMC), a program in the BIA's Division of Self-Determination Services.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior James Watt said today the Department will initiate deep cuts and funding shifts and realign responsibilities among bureaus as part of President Reagan's program for economic recovery. Several major initiatives are being announced today as steps in that program, with other announcements to follow March 10.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior James Watt today announced reduced Interior budget requests totaling $5.94 billion in Fiscal Year 1981 and $5.75 billion in Fiscal 1982. The new budget figures, part of President Reagan's economic recovery program, represent reductions of $383 million in Fiscal 1981 and $877 million in Fiscal 1982 from the Carter Administration budgets for the two fiscal years.

"During the past month, I have participated extensively in discussions with President Reagan and the rest of the Cabinet on the state of the economy and Federal budget," Watt said.

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Press Release

Interior Secretary James Watt said today President Reagan's budget amendments sent to Congress this week include a reduction of seven percent -- $75.9 million for the Bureau of Indian Affairs for the fiscal year 1982 budget presently pending in Congress.

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Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has announced that a partial per capita payment of judgment funds awarded to the Mississippi Sioux Indians by the Indian Claims Commission will be made before the end of April. The award was for land taken in Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota in the early 1800's.

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Press Release

Interior Secretary James Watt said today that President Reagan had announced his intention to nominate Kenneth L. Smith, a member of the Wasco Tribe of Oregon, to be Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs, subject to Senate confirmation.

"Ken Smith is a vigorous and highly qualified tribal leader who has worked effectively at the local and national level to improve the economic and social position of Indians in our society," Watt said. "Smith was selected only after extensive consultation with elected tribal leaders from all across the Nation."

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Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has announced the appointment of Ernest T. Moran as superintendent of the Northern Cheyenne Agency at Lame Deer, Montana and Roland E. Johnson as the first superintendent of the recently established Laguna Agency, Laguna, New Mexico.

The Laguna Pueblo to be served by Johnson has a land area of about 400,000 acres and a membership of about 6,000. It was formerly part of the Southern Pueblos Agency, which included nine other smaller pueblos. The BIA announced in April, 1980 that a new agency was being established to serve Laguna.

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Press Release

Kenneth Payton, Bureau of Indian Affairs deputy area director in Albuquerque, New Mexico has been detailed to Washington, D.C. for not more than 120 days to serve as the Acting Deputy Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Payton will begin his assignment as operational head of the BIA on April 20, Interior Acting Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, James Canan said today.

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Press Release

Ken Smith, a Wasco Indian from Oregon nominated by President Reagan to be the Department of Interior's Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, told members of the Senate Select Indian Affairs Committee his ''beliefs and philosophy" on Indian matters at a confirmation hearing April 28.

With tribal council members from Smith's Warm Springs Reservation in full regalia in the hearing room, Smith expressed his belief "in the strengths of Indian people which have enabled them to endure and survive as a people through adversities and oppressions unparalleled in history."

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Press Release

Interior Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs James Canan announced today that 150,000 acres of timberland was purchased April 23 for the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy Indian tribes of Maine under the terms of the Maine Indian Settlement Act passed last October.

The purchase involved 38 separate tracts of land in East-Central Maine, ranging in size from 30,000 acres to 40 acres. The total cost was $29.6 million. The land was bought from the Dead River Land Company of Maine.

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Press Release

Federal, State and Tribal leaders met in Washington on May 6 and 7 to seek solutions to problems concerning the fishery in the northern Great Lakes off Michigan's coastlines.

The group, composed of representatives of the Secretary of the Interior, Michigan Governor's Office and Michigan Department of Natural Resources and leaders of the Bay Mills, Grand Traverse and Sault Ste. Marie Tribes, issued the following statement:

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Press Release

Interior Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Ken Smith has appointed Jacob Lestenkof, an Aleut from St. George Island, Alaska, as the Bureau of Indian Affairs' area director for Alaska. The BIA's Alaska area office is in Juneau.

Lestenkof's appointment is Smith's first official action as Assistant Secretary, since being sworn into office May 15.

Smith said Lestenkof's "extensive experience with both Alaska Native organizations and the government demonstrated his qualifications for this position of critical importance to the Alaska Natives."

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Press Release

Kenneth L. Smith, a Wasco Indian from Oregon, became the nation's top Indian official May 15 when he was sworn in by Interior Secretary James Watt as the Department's Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. Smith is the third American Indian to hold that position, which was established in 1977.

At the swearing in ceremony Smith said that it was his intention and that of Secretary Watt to further self determination for Indian tribal groups.

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Press Release

A newly developed automatic data processing system for the Bureau of Indian Affairs' social services programs will be implemented October 1 in all areas except Alaska, Interior Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Ken Smith announced today.

With the new system in place, the processing of a request for general assistance, which in the present manual system takes 3-6 weeks before delivery of the first check, will be completed in 2-3 days.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior James Watt announced today that Roy H. Sampsel, a Choctaw Indian from Portland, Oregon, has been appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the Department of the Interior.

Sampsel has worked in Indian Affairs as a consultant, as executive director of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, as a reservation program officer for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and as a special assistant to the Secretary of the Interior.

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Press Release

Interior Secretary James Watt announced today that the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) at Santa Fe, New Mexico will be moved for the 1981-82 school year to the nearby campus of the College of Santa Fe.

Watt said he approved a one-year Bureau of Indian Affairs contract with the College of Santa Fe to allow IAIA to use facilities on the campus of the 1,200-student liberal arts college.

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Press Release

Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs Ken Smith announced today an early opening of the Sockeye and Pink Salmon Fishery of the Fraser River System in the State of Washington in two areas of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The Makah and Klallam Indian tribes began fishing in their treaty fishing sites within the Strait on June 27. This opening date precedes by approximately six days the opening by other treaty tribes and non-Indians on July 3-5.

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Press Release

Interior Secretary James Watt today announced the establishment of a 11Commission on Fiscal Accountability of the Nation’s Energy Resources11 to develop solutions to minerals management problems, focusing on royalty accounting and oil theft.

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Press Release

The Commission on Fiscal Accountability of the Nation's Energy Resources will hold its first meeting on July 27 in Washington, Commission Chairman David F. Linowes announced today.

Formation of the Commission to investigate problems of waste and loss of revenues from energy resources, principally oil and gas, extracted from Federal and Indian tribal lands, was announced this week by Interior Secretary James Watt.

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Press Release

Interior Secretary James Watt announced today he has made available $180,000 to the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa-Chippewa Indians of Suttons Bay, Michigan for new impoundment gear in their commercial fishing operation.

The funds will be used for a demonstration project in which the tribe will upgrade its fishing methods by switching from gill nets to trap nets. The trap net method of fishing allows more selective fishing -- taking only those fish that are easily marketable such as whitefish and chub -- and protects the Lake Michigan lake trout fishery.

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Press Release

A $10,998,701 Bureau of Reclamation contract to provide, install and test 30 electric motors to drive pumps at three Central Arizona Project (CAP) pumping plants has been awarded to Siemens-Allis, Inc., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Commissioner Robert N Broadbent announced today.

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Press Release

Interior's Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Ken Smith told Indian leaders and state and federal government officials that Indian tribal governments have "the primary responsibility for the social and economic well-being of the people on their reservations."

Smith, speaking at a workshop in Scottsdale, Arizona on the provision of human services on reservations, said that though the Bureau of Indian Affairs provides assistance to tribes, the principal duties remain with the tribe's government.

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Press Release

Federal, State and Tribal leaders held their third meeting in Ann Arbor on July 21 and 22 in the search for solutions to problems concerning the northern Great Lakes fishery off Michigan's coastlines.

The group, composed of representatives of the Secretary of the Interior, Michigan Governor's office, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and leaders of the Bay Mills, Grand Traverse and Sault Ste. Marie Tribes issued the following statement:

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Press Release

Interior Assistant Secretary Ken Smith told Indian leaders meeting in Billings, Montana, August 11, that he would be heading up a Cabinet Council working group responsible for developing an Indian policy for the Reagan Administration.

Addressing the 9th annual convention of the National Tribal Chairman's Association, Smith said that Interior Secretary James Watt was responsible for elevating the Indian issue "to the Cabinet Council level, only one step away from the Presidential decision level."

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Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has announced that it is reinstituting comprehensive stock reduction efforts, including impoundment when necessary, in the former Navajo-Hopi Joint Use area.

Impoundment as a means of livestock reduction was discontinued May 11, at the request of Navajo Tribal Chairman Peter MacDonald for a discussion of procedures and issues. The BIA is responsible, under a mandate of the Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act (P.L. 93-531), for keeping the number of livestock within the carrying capacity of the range in the now partitioned areas.

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Press Release

Interior Assistant Secretary Ken Smith announced today that Maurice W. Babby, an Oglala Sioux, has been named director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Sacramento area.

Babby succeeds William E. Finale, Sacramento area director since 1968, who has accepted an assignment as director of the Phoenix area for a period not to exceed six months. Finale, a 30-year Interior veteran, has announced plans to retire within the next year.

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Press Release

Bureau of Indian Affairs officials from Washington, D.C., will be meeting September 14-17 with Alaska State officials and Alaska Native representatives to discuss a proposed transfer of as many as 20 BIA-operated village schools to state operation in the 1982-83 school year. The Bureau currently operates 39 elementary village schools serving approximately 2,100 students.

Coming to Alaska will be Interior's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, Roy H. Sampsel and the BIA's Director of Indian Education Programs Earl Barlow.

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Press Release

Interior Assistant Secretary Ken Smith has appointed Carl Shaw, a Cherokee Indian, as his special assistant and director of public affairs for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Smith said that Shaw would be the principal counselor to the Assistant Secretary and the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Operations on all matters of public affairs nature.

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Press Release

Interior Assistant Secretary Ken Smith said today that a notice proclaiming the establishment of a reservation for the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe of Washington is being published in the Federal Register.

According to the notice, the new reservation would be comprised of five tracts of trust land totaling 99 acres in Skagit County. Four of the five parcels are located approximately seven miles north of the present tribal offices in Burlington, Washington. The other parcel is located two miles northeast of the town, Sedro Wolley.

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Press Release

Interior Secretary James Watt, and Ken Smith, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, flew into Navajo land for a brief visit September 17. En route from Phoenix to Denver, the Navajo stopover marked another leg of Watt's three-week tour of western states.

Watt was given a blessing by a Navajo medicine man, high on a chilly ridge facing a steep canyon wall. He and Smith visited the hogan of a traditional Navajo couple -- a home without electricity or running water and then were taken to the council chamber for a special evening session of the Navajo Tribal Council.

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Press Release

Dr. S. Gabe Paxton, Jr., a Choctaw Indian, has been appointed to serve as Deputy Director, Office of Indian Education Programs, Kenneth L. Smith, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, announced today.

Most recently, Paxton held positions of Area Vocational Development Officer and Area Indian Self Determination Officer at the Bureau of Indian Affairs Muskogee Area Office in Muskogee, Oklahoma. In 1977 he was the Associate Deputy Commissioner for Indian Education in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

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Press Release

Cuts in federal funding for Indian education programs cannot be allowed to affect the quality of education being provided to young people, Kenneth L. Smith, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, said today.

Addressing the National Indian Education Association conference in Portland, Oregon, Smith said budget reductions are coming and Indian education would have to shoulder its share.

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Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs is publishing in the Federal Register October 14, a proposed rule to establish procedures for the preparation of a roll of Mohave Indian descendants enrolled as members of the Colorado River Indian Tribes. The Mohave Indians placed on this roll would share with the members of the Fort Mohave Indian Tribe an award of $468,358 from the Indian Claims Commission.

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Press Release

Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kenneth L. Smith today pledged involvement of tribal leaders through a more effective consultation process and warned that budget cuts will require sound management of all Indian programs.

Addressing the 38th annual convention of the National Congress of American Indians in Anchorage, Alaska, Smith said he had made consultation with tribes a priority item and stressed the need for recommendations and suggestions from tribal leaders.

“We are going to do things openly," Smith said, "so you can see and know and comment.”

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Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs, which has announced its intention to do an environmental impact statement on a proposal to allow commercial harvesting of anadromous fish on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation in northern California, has scheduled a series of 1 meetings in the area, December 7-14 to identify significant issues related to the proposed action and to determine the scope of the study.

BIA officials expect the draft EIS to be prepared and available for public review by the end of March, 1982.

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Press Release

A top Interior Department official from Washington, D. C. will be in Northern California December 1-3 to meet with state officials, Indian leaders and others about the management of the Klamath River fishery on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Roy Sampsel said the meetings would "provide opportunities for identifying problems and seeking coordinated approaches to improved management of this important resource.

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Press Release

John W. Fritz, senior corporate counsel for Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, has been named Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, Interior Secretary James G. Watt announced today.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior James Watt today awarded 23,000 timbered acres on Admiralty Island in southeast Alaska to the Sitka-based Shee-Atika Native Corporation in satisfaction of its selection rights under the 10-year-old Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

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Press Release

A proposed project to develop oil and gas resources on the Seminole Indian Tribe's Brighton Reservation in Florida would not create significant environmental issues or concerns, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has concluded.

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Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs published in the Federal Register, December 28, 1981, a rule to establish procedures for the preparation of a roll of Mohave Indian descendants enrolled as members of the Colorado River Indian Tribes. The Mohave Indians placed on this roll would share with the members of the Fort Mohave Indian Tribe an award of $468,358 from the Indian Claims Commission.

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