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News by Year

Press Release

WASHINGTON – A graduation ceremony for members comprising the inaugural class of a federally supported pilot project to train American Indians in the commercial building trade will be held December 19, 2008, near the city of Chicago.

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Press Release

This report provides a portrait of the American Indian and Alaska Native population in the United States and discusses the largest specified tribal groupings, reservations, Alaska Native village statistical areas (ANVSAs), and areas outside reservations and ANVSAs (outside tribal areas) at the national level. It is part of the Census 2000 Special Reports series that presents demographic, social, and economic characteristics collected from Census 2000.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - At a press conference at the National Press Club today, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced budget increases for Indian Country initiatives and joined Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson and other Administration officials and Indian leaders in announcing a new Native American-focused training course. Called "Working Effectively with Tribal Governments," the online course is now available to federal employees.

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Press Release

PHOENIX - Following approval by Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, the largest Indian water rights settlement in U.S. history is now fully in effect, concluding more than three decades of extraordinary effort by federal, state and tribal leaders to resolve critical water use issues facing tribal communities and the State of Arizona.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON - Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development - Indian Affairs George T. Skibine today congratulated the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe on the grand opening of the Cheyenne River Reservation Achievement Center in Eagle Butte, S.D. The Center was established with support from the Indian Affairs Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED), Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) and Wal-Mart Stores. Skibine was represented at the Sept. 18 opening by IEED Division of Economic Development Chief Jack Stevens.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Carl J. Artman this week invited leaders from the 562 federally recognized tribes to attend a national meeting in Washington, D.C., on January 30, 2008, on the Indian Affairs Modernization Initiative. The one-day event will take place at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Horizon Room, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EST).

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC -- Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne will discuss Indian issues and be joined by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson and other Administration officials to launch a new Native American-focused online training course for federal employees at a press conference at the National Press club on Thursday, January 31.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The fiscal year 2009 budget requests $2.2 billion for Indian Affairs, which includes Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) programs. The budget request includes increased funding for the Interior Department’s Safe Indian Communities and Improving Indian Education initiatives as well as for the Indian Guaranteed Loan and Job Placement programs to meet tribal and individual Indian business financing needs and to help alleviate high unemployment rates in Indian Country.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Carl J. Artman will host the Interior Department’s kick-off event for its intertribal economic consortium initiative, which will take place on Monday, February 11, 2008 with a signing ceremony between the Department, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe of Connecticut and the Seminole Tribe of Florida to honor the memorandum of understanding that formalizes the two tribes’ cooperative economic relationship.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Carl J. Artman, Seminole Tribe of Florida Vice-Chairman Richard Bowers and Mashantucket Pequot Vice-Chairman Kenneth Reels have signed a partnership agreement that will utilize the tribes’ purchasing power to promote Indian Country business development under DOI’s intertribal economic consortium initiative.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Carl J. Artman today announced that the Interior Department has published final regulations in the Federal Register implementing Title V of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-58) regarding Tribal Energy Resource Agreements (TERAs) under the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act. The regulations will become effective on April 9, 2008.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Carl J. Artman today issued a Final Determination to decline acknowledgment of the Federal Acknowledgment Process petitioner known as the Steilacoom Tribe of Indians (STI), located in Steilacoom, Wash., as an Indian tribe within the meaning of Federal law. The petitioner has 612 members.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Carl Artman today announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Great Plains Regional office will host the 10th Annual Great Plains Tribal Economic Development Summit April 15-16, 2008, in Sioux Falls, S.D. The theme for this year’s summit, “Contemporary Economic Resources for Great Plains Tribes,” reflects a renewed commitment to the Bureau’s overall emphasis on modernization.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Carl J. Artman and South Dakota Senator John Thune yesterday unveiled their joint proposal for a South Dakota Indian and Tribal Business Incubator Project to help accelerate economic development throughout the state’s nine federal Indian reservations. The project will target the Cheyenne River Sioux, Crow Creek Sioux, Flandreau Santee Sioux, Lower Brule Sioux, Oglala Sioux, Rosebud Sioux, the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, Standing Rock Sioux and Yankton Sioux tribes.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced today that Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Carl Artman will be leaving the Department of the Interior effective May 23, 2008.

"Throughout your tenure, I have appreciated your able insight as we have worked to address important issues in Indian Country," Kempthorne said in a letter to Artman. "The Indian Modernization Initiative, developed and launched under Carl's leadership, has upgraded communications between tribal leaders and the Department on a number of priority issues."

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Bureau of Indian Affairs Director Jerold L. “Jerry” Gidner today announced that he has named Dale Morris as Regional Director of the BIA’s Pacific Regional Office in Sacramento, Calif. Morris, an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, had been serving as chief of the regional office’s natural resources division since 2004. His new appointment became effective on April 27, 2008. The Pacific Regional Office oversees four agencies serving the 102 federally recognized tribes located within the State of California.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Carl J. Artman announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has published final regulations in the Federal Register implementing Section 20 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (IGRA). IGRA contains a general prohibition against gaming on land acquired after October 17, 1988, the date the act was signed, which may be overcome if the land meets certain exceptions. The final rule incorporates suggestions received by the BIA through public comment and the tribal consultation process.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Carl J. Artman today announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs has published in the Federal Register a notice providing guidance and direction to the Office of Federal Acknowledgment (OFA) to address recurring administrative and technical problems related to the processing of petitions under the Federal Acknowledgment Process (FAP). The notice does not amend the acknowledgment regulations at 25 CFR Part 83, Procedures for Establishing that an American Indian Group Exists as an Indian Tribe.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Internet access is being restored to the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) via the BIA’s network following a recent court order. This means that Indian Affairs, BIA and BIE employees will soon be able to communicate by email with tribes, other federal offices and the general public to provide services and conduct business.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – George T. Skibine, a top career official in Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior, will temporarily assume the responsibilities of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. Skibine is the Acting Interior Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development – Indian Affairs.

Interior Deputy Secretary P. Lynn Scarlett issued the delegation of authority action on May 23, 2008, following Carl J. Artman’s departure from the post. The delegation is effective until further notice.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today presented President's Rank Awards or Secretary's Executive Leadership Awards to 36 Senior Executive Service employees of the Department of the Interior at a ceremony at the main Interior building.

Secretary Kempthorne said the awards recognize executives who exemplify Interior's core values­ "Stewardship for America with Integrity and Excellence."

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development – Indian Affairs George T. Skibine today announced the publication of a Notice of an Amended Proposed Finding declining to acknowledge that a group known as Biloxi, Chitimacha Confederation of Muskogees, Inc., of Louisiana is an Indian tribe according to federal law.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development – Indian Affairs George T. Skibine today announced the publication of a Notice of an Amended Proposed Finding declining to acknowledge that a group known as Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe in Louisiana is an Indian tribe according to federal law.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development – Indian Affairs George T. Skibine today announced a substantial enhancement in existing efforts to increase capital investment for business and economic development in Indian Country. Since the advent of the Indian Financing Act of 1974, Indian Affairs’ Guaranteed Loan, Insurance, and Interest Subsidy program has provided opportunities for tribal and Indian-owned businesses to obtain adequate credit in the capital investment market

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Press Release

WASHINGTON — With the goal of better preserving and enhancing the natural and cultural heritage of the nation’s public lands and waters, five U.S. government agencies today joined the National Geographic Society in a ceremony at Society headquarters unveiling a ground-breaking framework to formally adopt the principles of geotourism.

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Press Release

Washington – Jerry Gidner, Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), announced today the Second National Conference on Child Protection & Child Welfare in Indian Country will be held August 19-22, 2008, in Billings, Mont.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Mr. George Skibine, Office of the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs, announced today that the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation of Pendleton Oregon have submitted a plan to participate in Indian Affairs’ Public Law 102-477 (477) initiative. The program is a comprehensive employment and training program for federally recognized tribes to address economic and workforce needs in their communities. Along with the plan, Antone C.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development – Indian Affairs George T. Skibine today congratulated the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the State of South Dakota on signing a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint sovereign filing system to administer the tribe’s newly adopted secured transactions commercial code. He was represented by officials of the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development at a signing ceremony held yesterday on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development – Indian Affairs George T. Skibine today offered praise for the installation and activation of the first large-scale wind turbine to be located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The turbine, which is owned by radio station KILI-FM and was funded in part by the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development, was activated at a noontime ceremony yesterday in Porcupine, S.D.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C— After 12 years of litigation over its management of the trust funds of individual Indians, U.S. District Court Judge James Robertson today issued a decision in the Cobell lawsuit rejecting the plaintiffs' theory that the government owes them $47 billion.

"The Department is gratified that the court recognized the complexities and uncertainties involved in this case," said James E. Cason, Associate Deputy Secretary of the Interior. "We look forward to working with the court, the Congress, and the plaintiffs to bring the case to final closure."

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Press Release

WASHINGTON - Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development - Indian Affairs George T. Skibine today announced that the Office of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) have been fully reconnected to the Internet. The Office of the Chief Information Officer – Indian Affairs (OCIO-IA) has successfully reconnected 5,000 computer users in 148 Indian Affairs locations across the country. This accomplishment occurred one month ahead of schedule.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Bureau of Indian Affairs Director Jerold L. “Jerry” Gidner today announced that he has named Michael S. Black as Regional Director of the BIA’s Great Plains Regional Office in Aberdeen, S.D. His appointment became effective on July 20. The Great Plains Regional Office oversees 12 BIA agencies serving the 16 federally recognized tribes located in the states of Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON - Deputy Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Office of Justice Services, Pat Ragsdale, announced today that Sergeant Louis Troy Poitra, a police officer training instructor from the Indian Police Academy in Artesia, New Mexico, is recuperating from a bullet wound in his leg. The investigation of the incident by BIA and FBI authorities is on going.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON - Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development - Indian Affairs George T. Skibine today announced that a major oil and gas mining lease sale conducted this week by the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Anadarko (Okla.) Agency, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST), resulted in 916 winning bids totaling $6,114,443.59. The agency is one of five within the BIA’s Southern Plains Region serving 24 federally recognized tribes in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

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