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Press Release

WASHINGTON – The latest class to graduate from an Indian Affairs-supported pilot project to train American Indians in the commercial building trade will hold its commencement ceremony on January 16, 2009, in Phoenix, Ariz. The current class has 12 trainees, all of whom are from the Navajo Nation, the largest federally recognized tribe in the state. The ceremony will take place at the Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen in Phoenix immediately following a luncheon for graduates and guests that starts at 11:30 a.m. (local time).

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Press Release

On Thursday, February 12, 2009, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will testify before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on his views and priorities on American Indian issues. The full committee hearing is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room SD 628.

Who: Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar

What: Secretary Salazar’s testimony before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee

When: 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today pledged to restore integrity in government relations with Indian tribes, fulfill the United States' trust responsibilities to Native Americans, and work cooperatively to build stronger economies and safer American Indian communities.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development – Indian Affairs George T. Skibine today announced the names of three individuals who have received career appointments to Senior Executive Service (SES) positions within the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). They are Stephanie E. Birdwell as the Deputy Director for Policy, Evaluation and Post Secondary Education, Bartholomew “Bart” Stevens as the Deputy Director for School Operations and David Talayumptewa as the Assistant Deputy Director for Administration. The appointments became effective on January 4, 2009.

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Press Release

DENVER, CO – Today, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar made the following statement in honor of Crow Tribal Chairman Carl Venne, who died this weekend in Montana:

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will hold a media roundtable tomorrow – Friday, Feb. 20, 2009 -- to discuss how the department will swiftly and responsibly implement President Obama’s economic recovery plan in order to help create jobs, generate economic activity in local communities, and renew our national parks, national wildlife refuges and other public lands and resources.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development – Indian Affairs George T. Skibine today announced a new effort to recruit and train American Indian and Alaska Native post-secondary students to become Indian Country’s next generation of tribal energy and natural resource management professionals. The Energy Resource Development Tribal Internship Program has been developed through a partnership between the Indian Affairs Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED), the Council of Energy Resource Tribes (CERT) and the U.S.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of the Interior issued the following statement today regarding the February 24, 2009 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar, in which the Court said that land could not be taken into trust for the Narragansett Tribe of Rhode Island under Section 5 of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 because the Tribe was not under the jurisdiction of the United States in 1934.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Tomorrow morning at 8:50 a.m., Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will speak to the Tribal Nations Legislative Summit of the National Congress of American Indians at the Weston Hotel in the District of Columbia. Later in the day, he will be the keynote speaker for a Council of Energy Resource Tribes summit on Native energy development and its place in America's future. The afternoon event will be held at the Dirksen Senate Office Building at 4:30 p.m. on Capitol Hill, and will include representatives from 53 tribes and Canadian First Nations.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Speaking to a summit of American Indian leaders,Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today highlighted more than $2 billion in President Obama’s economic recovery package to create jobs and economic opportunity in Indian Country.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that the Indian Affairs Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED), in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), has launched a website to create a web-based clearinghouse of environmental information that will support American Indian and Alaska Native traditional and renewable energy resource development.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON , D.C.—Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today praised President Obama’s announcement that he intends to nominate Larry EchoHawk, a former Idaho Attorney General and state legislator, as Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. The nomination requires Senate confirmation.

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Press Release

On Saturday, April 25, 2009, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will visit North Dakota, where he will be joined by Senators Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) and Gov. John Hoeven, and meet with local leaders and tribal officials. The Secretary will announce Interior’s Indian Affairs funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. He also will visit communities hit by recent flooding and confer with state and federal flood response officials.

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Press Release

BISMARK, N.D. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that the Department will fund $500 million in new school and housing construction, road and bridge improvements, and workforce development projects for federally recognized tribes across the nation. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Department’s Indian Affairs office will also offer federally guaranteed loans for American Indian-owned businesses. These investments will significantly improve the quality of life in tribal communities nationwide.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Obama’s proposed $12 billion budget for the Department of the Interior in FY2010 will allow the nation’s largest land manager to play a central role in carrying out the President’s vision for addressing the challenges of our times, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said today.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today lauded the Senate’s approval of Larry Echo Hawk, a law professor and former Idaho Attorney General and state legislator, as Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. The President had nominated Echo Hawk on April 20, 2009.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today praised the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Larry Echo Hawk, an enrolled member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma and the first American Indian in U.S. history elected as a state attorney general, to serve as the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Larry Echo Hawk, 60, was sworn into office today as the Interior Department’s 11th Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. Echo Hawk is an enrolled member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma whose nomination was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 19, 2009. Secretary Salazar conducted the official swearing in ceremony.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk has begun his administration by moving quickly to begin discussions with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, tribal leaders and tribal organizations on economic, energy, education, public safety and other issues that need to be addressed in Indian Country.

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Press Release

SALT LAKE CITY – An unprecedented two-year undercover operation led by agents from Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the FBI today began rounding up what prosecutors call a ring of archeological grave robbers who looted pristine sites in the Southwest, desecrated ancient American Indian burials and stole priceless artifacts, selling them to dealers and collectors who were associated with the network.

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Press Release

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will administer the oath of office to Larry Echo Hawk as Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs at a 10:00 a.m. ceremonial event on Friday, June 26, 2009, in the Sidney R. Yates Auditorium of the Main Interior Building.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – The Interior Department’s Sidney R. Yates Auditorium resounded with drum beats and applause this morning as Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar administered the oath of office to the Obama Administration’s Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, Larry Echo Hawk. The ceremony took place before an estimated crowd of 300 that included family members, tribal representatives, and Interior and other federal employees. “Today is not a day for long speeches,” Echo Hawk said. “It is a day for solemn oaths, a day for thanksgiving, and a day for prayers.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk today announced the addition of Wizipan Garriott, Tracie Stevens and Paul Tsosie to his immediate staff and senior policy team. They will support the Assistant Secretary as he moves forward in carrying out Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s Indian education and law enforcement initiatives, distributing Recovery Act funds to Indian Country, and overseeing Indian Affairs bureaus, offices and programs.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk today announced that he has named Donald “Del” Laverdure to the post of Deputy Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs effective July 29. Laverdure is an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe of Montana (Ties the Bundle Clan) with ancestry from the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Responding to a call for greater transparency throughout government, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today said the Department will provide regular status updates to the American public on the financial health and ongoing reforms of the American Indian trusts, which consists of $3.5 billion in Indian trust funds.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk announced today that the Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan’s reservation proclamation has been signed. Approximately 147 acres, more or less, will serve as the Tribe’s initial reservation under the authority of the Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934 (48 Stat. 986; 25 U.S.C. 467). The land is located in Wayland Township, Allegan County, Michigan.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk today announced that the Bureau of Indian Education, Haskell Indian Nations University (HINU) in Lawrence, Kan., and the Haskell Indian National Board of Regents have formed a partnership to develop a post secondary education learning model to improve the educational experience of Haskell students. HINU is one of two BIE-operated post secondary institutions of higher learning for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs George T. Skibine today issued a proposed finding not to acknowledge the petitioner known as the Brothertown Indian Nation (Petitioner #67) as an Indian tribe. This petitioner, located in Fond du Lac, Wisc., has 3,137 members.

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Press Release

On Thursday, August 20, 2009, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will visit the Navajo Nation, meet with tribal officials and hold a news media availability with Nation President Joe Shirley at Window Rock, Arizona. Secretary Salazar will be accompanied by Interior Solicitor Hilary Tompkins and Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk.

Who: Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Solicitor of the Interior Hilary Tompkins Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk

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Press Release

WINDOW ROCK, Arizona -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar told Navajo Nation officials today that President Obama’s major goals for working with Indian Country include improving educational opportunities for American Indian children, strengthening law enforcement and advancing self-sustaining economic development for tribal communities.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk issued the following statement today on the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy:

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Press Release

Bismarck, N.D. – Surrounded by fourth through eighth grade students at the Theodore Jamerson Elementary School, who joined him in viewing President Obama’s address on the importance of learning to their future, Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk underscored the President’s message by relating to them the importance of education in his own life.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk today announced that he will visit the Theodore Jamerson Elementary School (TJES) in Bismarck, N.D., to join students and teachers in viewing President Obama’s address “My Education, My Future.” The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) funded school is located on the campus of the United Tribes Technical College (UTTC), and provides educational services for American Indian students in grades K-8.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON–Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk today announced that he will visit the Rough Rock Community School on Wednesday, Sept. 16, where he will be joined by Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley to attend a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Phase II portion of the Rough Rock Community School Replacement Project.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk today announced a competition for students attending high schools and tribal colleges funded by the Bureau of Indian Education that will promote careers in the fields of green and renewable energy. The Indian Education Renewable Energy Challenge is being sponsored by the BIE in partnership with the Indian Affairs Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory (ANL).

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk joined Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley and other Indian Affairs and Navajo tribal officials September 16 in a ceremonial groundbreaking event for Phase II of a major school replacement and improvement project at the historic Rough Rock Community School on the Navajo Reservation in northeastern Arizona.

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Press Release

On Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Assistant Secretary for Bureau of Indian Affairs Larry Echohawk will join Myron L. Rolle to announce an innovative health program for Indian schools.

The 1:00 p.m. EDT event in the Main Interior Building’s South Penthouse will be followed by a news media availability. Media can also participate via a moderated teleconference by dialing 1-888-603-9712 and entering the access code 3561667.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today was joined by college football All-American and Rhodes Scholar Myron Rolle to announce a new partnership that will introduce an innovative physical fitness and health program into Interior-funded American Indian schools.

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Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk today announced that he has approved a realignment of his office’s organizational and reporting structure. The realignment is contained in an order he signed on September 11, 2009, effective immediately. The action to reorganize the Office of the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs (OAS-IA) was taken in order to strengthen the management and administration for Indian Affairs’ bureaus, offices and programs.

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Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Interior Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk will be a speaker at the upcoming 66th Annual National Congress of American Indians Convention and Trade Show being held October 11-16, 2009, at the Palm Springs Convention Center in California. He will address the convention’s second general assembly on Monday, October 12, where he will discuss the Department’s law enforcement, education and economic development initiatives in Indian Country.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – On Thursday, November 5th, 2009, President Obama will host the White House Tribal Nations Conference. As part of President Obama’s sustained outreach to the American people, this conference will provide leaders from the 564 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and representatives from the highest levels of his Administration. Each federally recognized tribe will be invited to send one representative to the conference.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the Bureau of Reclamation has awarded American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to additional tribes to help improve infrastructure and water supplies while bringing jobs to Indian country.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – There is not enough evidence to meet the legal requirements for federal recognition of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs George T. Skibine said today. The Department of the Interior, therefore, has issued a final determination not to acknowledge the petitioner group as a federally-recognized Indian tribe.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, November 3 at 1:00 PM Eastern, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Interior Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk, White House Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs Kim Teehee, and White House Associate Director for Intergovernmental Affairs Jodi Gillette will hold a conference call with interested reporters to discuss the upcoming White House Tribal Nations Conference.

WHAT: Conference Call to discuss the White House Tribal Nations Conference

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Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk today announced the launch of a new effort by the Indian Affairs Indian Highway Safety Program and the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Justice Services to help tribes keep drunk drivers off of their roads and highways. The IHSP and BIA-OJS have acquired four BAT (Breath Alcohol Testing) Mobiles for tribal use to effectively enforce traffic laws and ordinances and to reduce injuries and fatalities due to driving under the influence. Purchase of the vehicles was made possible by funding from the U.S.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk today announced that a Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) college professor from the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) in Albuquerque, N.M., was named New Mexico Professor of the Year for 2009. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) selected Dr. Nader Vadiee from more than 300 top professors in the United States.

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Press Release

Washington, D.C. – The Department of the Interior today launched a new effort to develop a Department-wide policy on tribal consultation, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk announced today. The new consultation policy will be developed with input from the nation’s 564 federally recognized tribes.

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Press Release
CORRECTED COPY 11/27

Washington, D.C. – The Department of the Interior today launched a new effort to develop a Department-wide policy on tribal consultation, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk announced today. The new consultation policy will be developed with input from the nation’s 564 federally recognized tribes.

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Press Release

Washington, D.C.—Today is Native American Heritage Day, thanks to legislation signed by President Obama that permanently designates the Friday after Thanksgiving Day each year as a day of honoring American Indian and Alaska Native cultural heritage and tribal sovereignty.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk thanked President Obama and the Congress for the designation.

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Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk today announced the schedule for the month of December for the Interior Department’s series of tribal consultation meetings to develop a Department-wide tribal consultation policy.

The December schedule of tribal consultation meetings is as follows (all times are local time):

Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon/1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Location: Hilton-Anchorage, 500 W 3rd Ave., Anchorage, Alaska, 99501 907-272-7411

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Press Release

ON TUESDAY, DEC. 8, 2009, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Attorney General Eric Holder will make a major announcement. Credentialed news media are invited to attend the 10:30 AM Eastern Time announcement in the South Penthouse of the Main Interior Building or to join a moderated media teleconference by dialing 1-800-857-9808 and entering the access code 5212385.

Who: Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar Attorney General Eric Holder

What: Major news announcement

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Attorney General Eric Holder today announced a settlement of the long-running and highly contentious Cobell class action lawsuit regarding the U.S. government's trust management and accounting of over three hundred thousand individual American Indian trust accounts. Also speaking at the press conference today were Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes and Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli.

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Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk welcomed representatives of several federal agencies and non-profit organizations who are at the forefront of combating alcohol and substance abuse and domestic violence to a conference on creating safe schools held December 8 by the Bureau of Indian Education. The Safe School Summit kicked off a BIE initiative to establish partnerships with law enforcement, security, and health and safety agencies to ensure BIE-funded schools are safe and secure learning environments for their students.

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Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk today announced he has named Dr. Sherry R. Allison, who is currently the acting president of the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute located in Albuquerque, N.M., as SIPI President. Dr. Allison, who is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, had been serving as acting president since January 5, 2009. The appointment is effective December 6, 2009.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of the Interior proposes to acknowledge the Shinnecock Indian Nation of Southampton, New York as a federally recognized Indian tribe, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs George T. Skibine announced today. The Department will issue a notice of this proposed finding in the Federal Register.

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Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk today announced the schedule for the month of January 2010 for the Interior Department’s series of tribal consultation meetings to develop a Department-wide tribal consultation policy.

The Assistant Secretary noted two changes in the January schedule: the January 5 meeting will be held in Ft. Snelling, Minn., instead of Minneapolis and the January 14 meeting will be held in Palm Springs, Calif., instead of Sacramento.

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Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk today announced that on December 21 the Bureau of Indian Affairs began its 2009 drunk-driving prevention campaign, “Don’t Shatter the Dream,” which is being conducted by BIA and tribal law enforcement in Indian Country through January 3, 2010.

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