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News by Year

Press Release

The President's 1987 budget request of $923.7 million in appropriations for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) puts new emphasis on the concepts of Indian self-determination and tribal self-government through the introduction of a new line item category for tribal/agency operations, putting almost one-third of the total BIA budget under more direct control of the tribes.

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Press Release

I have been informed that demonstrations are planned sometime this weekend in Washington, D.C., and in other parts of the country protesting the resettlement of those Navajo families residing on land partitioned to the Hopi Indian Tribe as a result of the Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act (P.L. 93-531) passed by the U.S. Congress in 1974.

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Press Release

Interior Assistant Secretary Ross Swimmer announced today the appointment of three top officials for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

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Press Release

The Department of the Interior announced today that it will deny requests to take off-reservation Indian lands into trust status for the purpose of establishing bingo or other gaming enterprises which do not conform with state and local laws. Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Ross Swimmer said, "We do not oppose tribal bingo operations on established reservations, but we do not think it is desirable -- or in the tribes' best interests -- to establish small, satellite bingo reservations in or near urban areas.

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Press Release

Patricia S. Keyes, a regional representative for the Department of Transportation since 1981, has been appointed as field operations officer by Interior Assistant Secretary Ross Swimmer to serve on his staff as a coordinator and liaison with several of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) 12 area offices. She will also be responsible for relations with public and governmental organizations within those areas.

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Press Release

Ross Swimmer, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the Department of Interior, announced today a realignment of his office and the headquarters structure of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)

A Secretarial Order signed March 18, creates four deputies for Swimmer -- each with specific areas of responsibility in (1) Tribal Services; (2) Education; (3) Trust and Economic Development; and (4) Operations. The order establishes a direct chain of command from the new deputies to the Assistant Secretary by abolishing two former deputy positions.

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Press Release

The Department of the Interior announced today plans to contract for services to strengthen internal management and administration of more than $1.5 billion of Indian trust funds. Ross Swimmer, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, said that sound administration of the trust funds is one of Interior's paramount Indian trust responsibilities. He said that after assessing the consequences of further delay that he, as the manager for the trustee, decided to move ahead and take immediate steps to improve federal management of the funds.

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Press Release

Ross Swimmer, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the Department of Interior, today announced revised guidelines for Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) review of tribal bingo management contracts and asked Indian tribes that are presently operating with unapproved contracts to submit them for review.

Previous guidelines provided that review and approval by the BIA would be at the option of the tribes

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Press Release

Assistant Secretary Ross Swimmer said today he will initiate on June 2 a program to bring Bureau of Indian Affairs agency superintendents to Washington, D.C. for a three-week intensive orientation on the Bureau's headquarters operations

A priority will be given to selecting new and less experienced superintendents for enrollment in the program.

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Press Release

With the touch of a key, the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service (MMS) recently opened a computer information network to states and Indian tribes receiving mineral royalties.

The State and Tribal Support System (STATSS), gives participating States and tribes access to mineral revenue information maintained at MMS's Royalty Management Program accounting center in Lakewood, Colorado. Through government-provided computer terminals, 18 state and tribal offices have been linked to the MMS system since April 30, the date the system was opened.

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Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) today issued requests for proposals for a model business development center to serve Indian tribes and individuals. The center would be expected to provide management and technical assistance, including help in obtaining private sector financing, for starting or expanding private businesses beneficial to Indian reservation economies.

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Press Release

Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Ross swimmer departs Sunday on a 15- day trip to Indian Country that has him visiting 26 Indian reservations and meeting with more than 125 Indian tribes.

"Since I was sworn in about six months ago, I have spent most of my time in Washington involved in putting my ·staff together and working on administrative matters. This trip will be the first opportunity I have to get out and visit with many Indian tribal governments and talk with them about the issues in Indian Country," Swimmer said.

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Press Release

Assistant Secretary Ross Swimmer today emphasized there will be no action by the federal government next month to forcibly remove Navajo families from land belonging to the Hopi Indian Tribe in Arizona.

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Press Release

Bureau of Indian Affairs, (BIA) Law Enforcement Officers have begun an extensive campaign against the supply and use of narcotics, drugs and marijuana on Indian reservations throughout the United States.

Ross Swimmer, Interior's Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs has given top priority to improving law and order on reservations. He feels it is a fundamental key to economic development for the Indian tribes.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Don Hodel today pledged OOI support and active participation in President Reagan's war on drugs.

"The land managing agencies of the Interior Department long have waged a battle of eradicating marijuana growing on Federal lands. Now, as a result of the impetus given the war on drugs by the President, we have added incentive to continue our efforts. We are going to fight this battle until it is won, because we are going to return our national parks and public lands to the American people."

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Press Release

Under Secretary of the Interior Ann McLaughlin announced today that the Administration has accepted the agreement for funding the Animas-La Plata Project.

"While the agreement that has been reached contains several elements that are quite different from those we requested at the opening of negotiations, I believe that we have reached the best agreement possible with the states of Colorado and New Mexico and the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Tribes," McLaughlin said. "Considerable concessions were granted on all sides during the formulation of this agreement.

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Press Release

Interior Secretary Donald Hodel approved June 5 a proposal to move the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Northern California agency from Hoopa to Redding, 80 miles east. As part of the move new sub-agencies will be created at Klamath, near the mouth of the Klamath River, and at Willow Creek, approximately 11 miles of south of Hoopa.

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Press Release

Interior Assistant Secretary Ross Swimmer has announced the appointment of Joe M. Parker, a Chickasaw Indian, as director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' (BIA) Muskogee, Oklahoma area. The appointment was effective May 25.

Since 1976, Parker has been superintendent of the BIA' s Tahlequah, Oklahoma agency, one of seven agencies under the Muskogee area office.

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Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA} and the Indian Health Service (IHS) have signed an agreement to join forces to combat drug abuse and other serious health problems among the nation's 1.4 million Native Americans Interior Assistant Secretary Ross Swimmer, who heads the BIA, joined IHS Director Everett Rhoades in Washington to sign the memorandum of agreement and discuss the ongoing relationship between their offices. IHS is an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services.

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Press Release

Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Ross Swimmer today awarded contracts to three firms that will act as model business development centers to create jobs for Indian tribes and individuals.

The three corporations, selected from 21 applicants, are the United Indian Development Association (UIDA) of El Monte, California; The Rensselaerville Institute of Rensselaerville, New York, and the Fairbanks Native Association (FNA) of Fairbanks, Alaska

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Press Release

The Mellon Bank of Pittsburgh has been awarded a contract for financial trust services to strengthen interna1 management and administration of more than $1.7 billion of Indian trust funds.

A tri-party agreement will be executed by the Interior Department's Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), trustee of the Indian monies; the Treasury Department's Financial Management Service (FKS); and Mellon Bank.

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Press Release

Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Ross Swimmer today signed the Fort Peck Tribal Water Code, a model agreement for the administration of Indian water rights and the first code to be approved since 1975.

The code resulted from a 1985 compact between the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Reservation and the State of Montana. The Fort Peck tribes own a portion of the Missouri River in northeastern Montana.

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Press Release

Interior's Assistant Secretary Ross Swimmer today announced the appointments of C. L. Henson as Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Colorado River Agency in Parker, Arizona; and George E. Keller as Superintendent of the Truxton Canon Agency in Valentine, Arizona.

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Press Release

Interior Assistant Secretary Ross Swimmer has signed a contract that will allow the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes to manage and operate an electric power system on the Flathead Indian reservation in northwestern Montana The three year contract is effective immediately, though a short personnel phase-in period is necessary. Under the Indian Self-Determination Act, Indian tribes and groups are given the authority to contract the management of federal government services that affect Indian people.

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Press Release

President Ronald Reagan has signed a bill authorizing the federal government to pay the Tohono O'Odham Indians (formerly Papago) in Arizona $30 million in order for the tribe to replace nearly 10,000 acres of reservation land that has been flooded repeatedly since 1979. The Gila Bend Indian Reservation Lands Replacement Act allows the U.S. Interior Department to begin paying the tribe in $10 million allotments over three years beginning in 1988. It is one of the Reagan Administration's largest land settlements with an Indian tribe.

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Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) announced today that it will relocate the office of assistant director of education to the Navajo Area Office in Gallup, N.K. Dr. Kenneth Ross, who oversees BIA education operations in the Southwest, will move from his Washington headquarters to Gallup November 4 The director of the BIA's nearly $300 million education program, Dr. Henrietta Whiteman, said the move is Reared toward bringing management closer to the people it serves.

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Press Release

A draft review of Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) off-reservation boarding schools in Phoenix. Arizona and Riverside, California recommends closure of the Phoenix school at the end of the current school year.

The report also recommends consideration of a new facility to provide specialized treatment services within a residential setting in close proximity to the Arizona Indian communities for students with special needs. The report recommends that the Sherman school in Riverside continue operation for its students and those displaced by closure of the· Phoenix facility

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Press Release

The Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) announces the availability of its publication, Mineral Revenues: The 1985 Report on Receipts from Federal and Indian Leases.

The booklet reports on the 1985 activities of the MMS Royalty Management Program, including collection of $6.5 billion in bonuses, rents and royalties from Indian and federal {offshore and onshore) minerals 1eases.

The report also offers tables and statistics relating to the generation, distribution, and history of revenues obtained under th1s program.

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Press Release

Interior Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Ross Swimmer today announced the appointment of Joe C. Christie as actin~ director of the new Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse. Christie, Superintendent of the Northern California Agency in Redding. California, since 1984, will assume the new post created in the Office of the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs by P.L. 99-570, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 signed by President Reagan last month. He will begin his duties in Washington, December 2

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Press Release

A negotiated agreement for reclamation of the Jackpile Mine in New Mexico between the Pueblo of Laguna and Anaconda Minerals Company, former operators of the nation's largest open-pit uranium mine, was signed today by the Denver based company and approved by the Department of the Interior. The Laguna tribal council has already approved the agreement and will formally sign it in ceremonies in Albuquerque December 18. Anaconda has agreed to pay the Laguna tribe $43.6 million to reclaim the more than 2,600 acres of land disturbed by the company during a 30-year mining operation.

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Press Release

A nearly $40,000 Bureau of Indian Affairs grant to the Lummi Indian Business Council in Bellingham, Washington, has translated into a $2.5 million a year fishermen's corporation that provides jobs for tribal members and revenues for tribal coffers.

The tribally-chartered corporation, formed in July, markets the catches of 12 Indian fishing operations to buyers in Japan, France, Belgium and the United States. The results are impressive:

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Press Release

Ross Swimmer, Interior Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, today announced the appointment of Nancy Garrett as Director of the Office of Administration in the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Garrett, a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) since 1978, currently serves as Deputy-Comptroller in BIA's Office of Indian Education Programs. Her new appointment is effective December 22.

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