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News by Year

Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs announces that the Webster/Dudley Band of Chaubunagungamaug Nipmuck Indians of Dudley, Massachusetts does not exist as an Indian tribe within the meaning of Federal law. This notice is based on a determination that the petitioner does not satisfy criteria 83.7(a), 83.7(b), and 83.7(c) of 25 CFR Part 83 and therefore, does not meet the requirements for government-to-government relationship with the United States. Criterion Part 83.7(a) requires that the petitioner have been identified as an American Indian entity on a substantially continuous basis since 1900.

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Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Fiscal Year 2001 budget request is $2.2 billion, a net increase of $331.9 million above the FY 2000 enacted level. Leading the way in the increases in FY 2001 are School Construction, Trust Services, Law Enforcement, and Tribal Priority Allocation funds. Assistant Secretary Kevin Gover praised this budget, stating, "This budget is a good step forward. For too long, the needs of the American Indian people were ignored, and that neglect has created problems that are difficult to solve and expensive to fix.

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Press Release

Surrounded by more than 35 Cowlitz Indians from the State of Washington, Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs Kevin Gover today signed the final determination to federally acknowledge their tribe. With 1,482 members, the tribe is located in southwestern Washington state. Historically its villages ranged a distance of 60 miles from the source to the mouth of the Cowlitz River, with an important center at the well-known landmark of the Cowlitz Indian Mission.

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Press Release

Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs, Kevin Gover has approved immediate distribution of $108 million to build roads and bridges on Indian lands proposed by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) Regulatory Negotiations Committee. The Assistant Secretary also set into motion a process for distributing the remaining funds within 45 days.

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Press Release

Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs, Kevin Gover announces that there is currently $59 million dollars available in loan guaranty authority to assist tribal and individual economic development projects and business ventures through the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Indian Loan Guaranty Program.

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Press Release

The Department of the Interior published a final rule on governing review of per capita distributions in the Federal Register. The new regulation establishes procedures for the submission, review and approval of tribal revenue allocation plans for the distribution of net gaming revenues from tribal gaming activities. Assistant Secretary -Indian Affairs Kevin Gover in announcing these regulations stated, "These new rules will provide clarity and guidance to tribal governments in meeting the mandates of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act."

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Press Release

The Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs, Kevin Gover, today issued two proposed positive findings concerning petitions for Federal acknowledgment from the Eastern Pequot Indians and the Paucatuck Eastern Pequot Indians, both groups are headquartered in North Stonington, Connecticut.

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Press Release

Deputy Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Hilda Manuel, has announced her resignation from government service effective April 7, 2000. Ms. Manuel, a member of the Tohono O'odham Nation, has worked at the BIA for ten years, including more than five years as Deputy Commissioner. She served two Assistant Secretary -Indian Affairs appointees. Ms. Manuel has provided strong leadership during some tumultuous times for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

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Press Release

The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon (Tribes), Portland General Electric Company (PGE), and the U.S. Department of the Interior today approved an agreement providing for the Tribes and PGE to share the 408-megawatt Pelton Round Butte hydroelectric project near Madras, Ore. Before the signing of the agreement, Warm Springs tribal elder, Delvis Heath, provided a beautiful traditional blessing for the ceremony.

Members of Tribes overwhelmingly approved the agreement in a referendum election held on March 28, 2000.

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Press Release

Effective April 2000, all remaining Individual Indian Monies (IIM) trust fund accounts have been converted to a new, automated Trust Fund Accounting System (TFAS). The implementation of this new accounting system at all BIA Regional Offices marks the completion of a significant component of the Secretary of the Interior’s Trust Management Improvement Project. TFAS is the responsibility of the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST).

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Press Release

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Indian Reservation (Tribes), The Montana Power Company (MPC), PPL Montana (PPLM), Trout Unlimited (TU), and the U.S. Department of the Interior (Interior) announce that they have reached an agreement to settle the Montana Power Company v. FERC lawsuit, currently pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

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Press Release

"The approval of these compacts helps bring to a close a long and difficult phase in the implementation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. For twelve years the Tribal governments of California have diligently moved forward, through some extremely difficult and trying times to secure their rights of self-determination through Tribal government gaming. Today, they have redeemed their rights.

"The resolution of this issue demonstrates that the political process works when people of foresight, and good will resolve themselves to finding a solution.

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Press Release

Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs Kevin Gover announced that Sharon Blackwell has been selected as the new Deputy Commissioner for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. "Sharon Blackwell has the sharp legal mind, the management experience and the dedication to public service that is required for success in this tremendously demanding position," said Assistant Secretary Gover. "We are very fortunate to have her on board to help guide the agency in the difficult months and years ahead."

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Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has scheduled a public meeting August 8- 9,2000 in Reston, Virginia, to address technical questions that have been raised by state, local and tribal officials concerning the Bureau of Indian Affairs' March 31, 2000 proposed findings to acknowledge federal recognition of the Eastern Pequot Indians of Connecticut and the Paucatuck Eastern Pequot Indians of Connecticut.

The meeting was requested May 18,2000 by the Connecticut Attorney General's office. Comments on the proposed findings are due by September 27, 2000.

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Press Release

"On June 23, the parties to the case, Schaghticoke Tribal Nation vs. Bruce Babbit, Secretary of the United States Department of lnterior, and Kevin Gover, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, United States Department of lnterior, filed a joint stipulation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia."

"The stipulation states the Department of Interior will decide by August 8, 2000, on the Schaghticoke tribe's request for concurrent consideration of its petition with the petition of the Golden Hill Paugussett Tribe."

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Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has changed the location of the public meeting scheduled for August 8-9, 2000, to address technical questions raised by state, local and tribal officials concerning the Department of the Interior’s March 31, 2000, proposed findings to acknowledge federal recognition of the Eastern Pequot Indians of Connecticut and the Paucatuck Eastern Pequot Indians of Connecticut.

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Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs will celebrate its 175th Anniversary tomorrow, Friday, September 8, 2000, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT) at the U.S. Department of the Interior headquarters, 1849 ‘C’ Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., in the Sydney R. Yates Auditorium with the theme “Reconciling the Past, Trusting the Future: A Renewed Commitment to Indian Tribes for the 21st Century.” The program will include a discussion on the BIA’s past, present, and future.

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Press Release

In a powerful and moving speech at a ceremony commemorating the Bureau of Indian Affairs' l75th anniversary, Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin Gover today apologized for the ethnic cleansing and cultural annihilation the BIA had wrought against American Indian and Alaska Native people in years past. Speaking before an estimated audience of 300 people, most of whom were BIA employees, he observed that the event was not an occasion for celebration, but a time for reflection and contrition.

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Press Release

The Department of the Interior provided its determination to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that the bones of the 9,000 year-old human skeletal remains known as Kennewick Man be given to the five Indian tribes that have collectively claimed him as their ancient ancestor. The decision was announced in a letter from Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt to Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera and represents the culmination of a thorough process of scientific examinations and investigations. The U.S.

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Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs will hold a historic signing ceremony to formalize consultation procedures for the agency, as to agency actions effecting the 558 federally recognized tribes. The procedures establish guidelines to be used by the Bureau of Indian Affairs when consulting with the tribes on policy, regulatory statutes and executive orders. The ceremony is being held on December 13, 2000 at the Daybreak Star Center, Discovery Park in Seattle, Washington.

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Press Release

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has received $2.1 billion in funding for FY2001, a 15% increase over FY2000, the largest increase in several years. The BIA administers programs for and provides services to federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and individuals. BIA programs receiving significant increases include new school construction, trust fund management and law enforcement.

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Press Release

On Monday, December 18, 2000, at 11:00 a.m. (EST), Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin Gover will formally open the Ely S. Parker Building, the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) new facility in Reston, Virginia, with the unveiling of a plaque naming the building for the first American Indian to serve as Commissioner for Indian Affairs. The facility will house the BIA’s Office of Management and Administration and Office of Information Technology, and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Business Center (NBC).

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Press Release

Speaking on Monday, December 18, 2000, at the opening of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) new offices in Reston, Virginia, Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin Gover pondered on what Ely S. Parker, the first American Indian to be appointed Commissioner of Indian Affairs, would think of being honored 130 years after his tenure by the naming of a Department of the Interior building for him. Mr.

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