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News by Year

Press Release

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. and Hopi Vice Chairman Todd Honyaoma today signed an historic Navajo-Hopi intergovernmental Compact, resolving a 40-year-old dispute over tribal land in northeastern Arizona.

"I am grateful to all the people who worked so hard over the years to resolve this dispute," Kempthorne said at the signing ceremony in Phoenix. "You have overcome a long history of bitterness and dispute. You truly have laid the foundation for a new relationship - one that will benefit all your people. You have made history."

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and Rep. Rick Renzi of Arizona will join Hopi and Navajo leaders at a historic signing ceremony in Phoenix, Ariz., tomorrow. Representatives of the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe will sign a compact resolving a long-standing dispute over access to sites for traditional tribal religious observances.

Signing the agreement will be Todd .Honyaoma, Vice Chairman of the Hopi Tribal Council, and Joe Shirley, President of the Navajo Nation. The signers, Secretary Kempthorne and Rep. Renzi will make remarks.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – As part of its efforts to improve and reform the management of the Indian trust for the benefit of all Indians, the Department of the Interior has revised existing—and drafted new—federal Indian trust regulations to implement the American Indian Probate Reform Act (AIPRA) and the Fiduciary Trust Model. The Department held an initial comment period on the first drafts of new regulations from January through April of this year. After incorporating comments, the proposed AIPRA regulations will be published in the Federal Register in coming weeks.

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Press Release

Washington – James E. Cason, Associate Deputy Secretary announced a series of consultation meetings to be held January 9-19, 2005 throughout Indian country. In accordance with Title V, Section 504 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and Executive Order 13175, the DOI, Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development seeks to consult on the development of proposed regulations to govern Tribal Energy Resource Agreements.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Special Agents Craig Janis and Mario Redlegs of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Office of Law Enforcement Services (OLES) were recognized today by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) for their efforts that helped lead to the eradication of a major marijuana cultivation site last year on the Yakama Nation Indian Reservation in Washington State.

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Press Release

Washington – Associate Deputy Secretary James E. Cason today announced that the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED), in the Office of the Assistant Secretary Indian Affairs is a sponsor of the 20th Annual National Reservation Economic Summit & American Indian Business Trade Fair better known as RES 2006. The four day event is hosted by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED), and will be held on February 6-9, 2006 at Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON -- Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton today paid tribute to the courageous men and women from the Department of the Interior who participated in the Gulf Coast Hurricane Relief effort last year. One hundred and twenty men and women representing thirteen departments and bureaus were chosen to represent the more than six thousand DOI employees who worked tirelessly to bring relief to the devastated citizens of the Gulf Coast Region.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – President Bush has proposed a $2.2 billion budget for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for Fiscal Year 2007. The budget reflects the President’s emphasis on fiscal discipline while continuing the Interior Department’s commitment to trust reform, greater accountability at BIA-funded schools, economic development, public safety and tribal self-determination. The President’s proposal increases funding for trust management, education management, tribal energy development, law enforcement programs and support costs for contracting Tribes.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior, as part of the implementation of its Fiduciary Trust Model (FTM) to improve and reform the management of Indian trust for the benefit of all Indian beneficiaries, will hold the first of three tribal consultation meetings on revising DOI Indian trust management regulations on February 14-15, 2006, in Albuquerque, N.M. The meeting will take place both days at the Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town starting at 8:00 a.m. (local time).

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Interior Associate Deputy Secretary James E. Cason today announced that the Indian Affairs Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development has given final approval for the Spokane Tribe of Washington State to participate in DOI’s 477 Demonstration Initiative, a comprehensive employment, training and welfare program for federally recognized tribes to address economic and workforce needs in their communities. With an enrolled population of just over 2,300 members, the Spokane Tribe is combating a 50 percent unemployment rate.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Director W. Patrick Ragsdale today announced that the BIA Winnebago (Nebr.) Agency Fire and Fuels Management Group was honored March 7 at the Department of the Interior National Fire Center’s 2006 National Fire Plan Awards ceremony held in Phoenix, Ariz. National Fire Plan awards are given annually in recognition of outstanding accomplishments related to the implementation of the Department’s National Fire Plan (NFP).

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior will hold a tribal consultation meeting on draft DOI Indian trust management regulations on March 29, 2006, at the Doubletree Hotel, Lloyd Center in Portland, Ore., starting at 8:00 a.m. (local time). The consultation meetings are a component of the Department’s implementation of its Fiduciary Trust Model to improve and reform Indian trust management for the benefit of all Indian beneficiaries.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior’s Office of Indian Gaming Management (OIGM) will hold a series of tribal consultation meetings on the development of proposed regulations to establish standards for implementing Section 20 of IGRA, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (25 USC 2701-2721). The meetings will take place in Uncasville, Conn., Albuquerque, N.M., Sacramento, Calif., and Minneapolis, Minn., starting on March 30, 2006.

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Press Release

To discuss Indian Trust Management Reform regulations: • Probate of Indian Estates (25 CFR 15, 43 CFR 4) • Tribal Probate Codes (25 CFR 18) (New) • Life Estates and Future Interests (25 CFR 179) • Land Records and Title Documents (25 CFR 150) • Conveyances of Trust and Restricted Land, Removal of Trust or Restricted Status (25 CFR 152)

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Interior Associate Deputy Secretary James E. Cason today issued a proposed finding to acknowledge the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Tribal Council, Incorporated, (Mashpee) as an Indian tribe. The 1,462-member tribe is located in Barnstable County, Cape Cod, Mass.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Bureau of Indian Affairs Director W. Patrick Ragsdale today announced the BIA Great Plains Regional Office in Aberdeen, S.D., will hold the 8th Annual Great Plains Region/Tribal Economic Development Summit on April 26-27, 2006 in Sioux Falls, S.D. The theme for this year’s summit is “Building Human Capital: Identifying Challenges and Creative Solutions in Indian Country.” It will focus on breaking down barriers that exist in business and workforce development by bringing together resources that can be utilized to overcome them.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Former Interior Secretary Manuel Lujan, Jr., will join Associate Deputy Secretary James E. Cason and Special Trustee for American Indians Ross O. Swimmer in Albuquerque, N.M., on April 27, 2006, at a ceremony to officially dedicate the Bureau of Indian Affairs Manuel Lujan, Jr. Indian Affairs Building and to open DOI’s National Indian Programs Training Center (NIPTC). They will be joined by All Indian Pueblo Council Chairman Amadeo Shije and Governor Roland Johnson of the Pueblo of Laguna.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Interior Associate Deputy Secretary James E. Cason today announced that the Indian Affairs Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) will sponsor the conference “Accessing Capital: Lending Opportunities in Indian Country” to be held May 1-3, 2006, on the White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians reservation in Minnesota. The conference will take place at the tribe’s Shooting Star Casino Hotel and Event Center in Mahnomen, Minn.

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Press Release

ALBUQUERQUE – An estimated audience of almost 1,000 guests and dignitaries today watched as Interior Department officials formally dedicated the Bureau of Indian Affairs gleaming modern office building at 1011 Indian School Road N.W. in Albuquerque, N.M., to former Secretary of the Interior Manuel Lujan, Jr., and officially opened DOI’s new National Indian Programs Training Center (NIPTC), a major occupant of the facility. Interior Associate Deputy Secretary James E. Cason and Special Trustee for American Indians Ross O.

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Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – James E. Cason, Associate Deputy Secretary announced today that the BIA Office of Law Enforcement Services (OLES), in conjunction with the Indian Country Section of the International Association of Chiefs of Police will hold its 15 th Annual Indian Country Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Service on May 4, 2006. The service is to commemorate the ultimate sacrifice made by American Indian law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty while serving on Indian lands. The Memorial Service will begin at 10:00 A.M.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today at the 63rd Departmental Honor Awards Convocation held in the Sydney R. Yates Auditorium at the U.S. Department of the Interior, it was a time for the Department to honor its own – those who have served with sudden seconds of valor and long years of excellence. At the ceremony a private citizen and three Bureau of Indian Affairs employees were among the many to be awarded for their bravery, outstanding contributions and dedicated service to the Department. Edward D.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Interior Associate Deputy Secretary James E. Cason today announced the selection of Thomas M. Dowd, an enrolled member of the Hopi Tribe of Arizona and a senior Federal executive with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA), as the new director of the Indian Affairs Office of Indian Education Programs (OIEP).

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Bureau of Indian Affairs Director W. Patrick Ragsdale today announced that Allen J. Anspach, acting Regional Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Western Regional Office in Phoenix, Ariz., has been confirmed in that position effective May 23. Anspach, a member of the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana and a certified Senior Executive Service (SES) administrator, had served in an acting capacity since January 2006. The Western Regional Office serves the federally recognized tribes located in Arizona (except the Navajo Nation), Nevada and Utah.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Interior Associate Deputy Secretary James E. Cason today announced that the Indian Affairs Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) will be competitively awarding grants of up to $25,000 to federally recognized tribes interested in participating in DOI’s employment and training initiative known as the 477 Program. The IEED is seeking to encourage non-participating tribes to consider the using the 477 Program through grants that will help them develop plans for implementing the program in their communities.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Interior Associate Deputy Secretary James E. Cason today announced that the Indian Affairs Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) has approved a $140,000 grant to the Pueblo of Laguna Utility Authority to study the feasibility of having the PLUA provide affordable electricity service throughout the tribe’s lands in west-central New Mexico. The Pueblo of Laguna is located approximately 45 miles west of the city of Albuquerque.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Interior Associate Deputy Secretary James E. Cason today announced that the Indian Affairs Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) has given final approval to the Tulalip Tribes of Washington State to participate in DOI’s 477 Program, a comprehensive employment, education, training and welfare program for federally recognized tribes to address economic and workforce needs in their communities. According to the 2000 Census nearly 40 percent of the Native Americans who reside on the Tulalip Reservation live below the federal poverty level.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Interior Associate Deputy Secretary James E. Cason today announced that the Indian Affairs Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding tribal energy resource agreements (TERAs) designated under Title V, Section 503, of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 in the August 21, 2006, issue of the Federal Register.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Associate Deputy Secretary James E. Cason today issued a Final Determination in which he declined to acknowledge that a group known as the Burt Lake Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Inc. (BLB), located near Brutus, Mich., is an Indian tribe within the meaning of Federal law. The evidence reviewed for this Final Determination showed that the petitioner failed to meet three out of seven mandatory criteria – 83.7(b), (c) and (e) – under 25 CFR Part 83, the regulations that govern the Federal Acknowledgment Process.

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Press Release

WHITERIVER, Ariz. – The Bureau of Indian Affairs Task Force located on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona today announced the arrest of a suspect in a series of sexual attacks that have occurred there. Jimi Aday, 29, an enrolled member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, has been charged with 18 U.S.C. 1153, Offenses Committed in Indian Country, 18 U.S.C. 1201(a)(2) Kidnapping, and two counts of 18 U.S.C. 2244(a) (1) Aggravated Sexual contact. Aday will be transported to Flagstaff, Ariz., for his initial arraignment.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Interior Associate Deputy Secretary James E. Cason today announced that the Indian Affairs Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) has approved a $106,000 grant to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota for the Intertribal Council On Utility Policy (ICOUP) to train tribal members for employment in the wind turbine construction, installation, operation, and maintenance industry.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Interior Associate Deputy Secretary James E. Cason today announced that the Department of the Interior has completed its review of the Environmental Analysis (EA) of the proposed Monticello Raceway Casino project submitted by the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe of New York. Cason has determined that, under the National Environmental Policy Act, the EA is sufficient and an Environmental Impact Statement is not required. Cason has signed and the Bureau of Indian Affairs is issuing a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the project.

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