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News by Year

Press Release

WASHINGTON –The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) today released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a proposed 350-megawatt solar energy project on tribal trust land of the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians in Clark County, Nevada.

The publication in the Federal Register tomorrow of a notice of availability begins the 30-day public comment period. Access to the Final EIS document can be viewed at:

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Press Release

Tomorrow, June 1, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. EDT, the White House will host a panel discussion of leaders who have contributed to the progress of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! in Indian Country initiative and whose work can be expanded across Indian Country. The discussion will be streamed online at www.WhiteHouse.gov/live. As a key component of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, Let’s Move! in Indian Country focuses on four pillars that are essential to building a healthy future for American Indian and Alaska Native youth:

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Press Release

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – As part of President Obama’s commitment to fulfilling this nation’s trust responsibilities to American Indians and Alaska Natives, the Office of the Secretary of the Interior will convene the Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform’s third public meeting on June 11-12, 2012.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.— In a letter to the Tejon Indian Tribe of California, Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk reaffirmed the federal relationship between the United States and the Tejon Indian Tribe. The Assistant Secretary’s letter confirms that the Tribe has a relationship with the federal government.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) will hold tribal consultation meetings for tribal leaders to review and provide input on the proposed rules on leasing in Indian Country. The proposed rules will establish subparts to 25 CFR Part 162 (Leasing and Permits) addressing residential leasing, business leasing and wind and solar resource leasing on Indian trust lands. Tribal leaders were notified of the upcoming consultation in a letter dated November 28, 2011.

The BIA’s schedule for the consultation meetings (all times are local):

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Press Release

WASHINGTON — A partnership among Department of the Interior agencies and American Indian communities in North Dakota has spurred a 400 percent increase in revenues from increased domestic energy production over last year – providing substantial economic benefits to the tribal government and individual mineral owners.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Bureau of Indian Education-funded schools can now apply for the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon School program (ED-GRS), which provides national recognition for schools using outstanding environmental programs and techniques, BIE Director Keith Moore announced today.

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Press Release

MINNEAPOLIS— A federal indictment unsealed in part late yesterday charges 24 alleged members of the Native Mob gang with conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity and other crimes. The Native Mob is a regional criminal gang that originated in Minneapolis in the early 1990s. Members routinely engage in drug trafficking, assault, robbery, and murder. Membership is estimated at 200, with new members, including juveniles, regularly recruited from communities with large, young, male, Native American populations.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of the Interior today announced two important steps in the ongoing commitment to fulfilling this nation’s trust responsibilities to Native Americans. Today, Interior announced the publication of a draft plan and a request for comment on implementing the potential Cobell Land Consolidation Program. Additionally, Interior announced that the first meeting of the Commission established to undertake a forward-looking, comprehensive evaluation of Interior’s trust management of Native American trust funds is set for the first week of March.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget request for Indian Affairs, which includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), is $2.5 billion – a $4.6 million decrease below the FY 2012 enacted level. The proposed budget maintains the President’s commitment to meeting the government’s responsibilities to the 566 Federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes, while holding the line on fiscal responsibility and improving government efficiency.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, February 13, 2012, Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk will provide an overview of the Obama administration’s proposed fiscal year 2013 budget for the Indian Affairs in a 3 p.m. EST teleconference for news media representatives.

The telephone conference can be accessed by dialing 1-800-369-3172 and entering the code 11954. Following the presentation, there will be a question and answer session for news media reporters.

WHO:

Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of President Obama’s commitment to fulfilling this nation’s trust responsibilities to American Indians and Alaska Natives, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will convene the first meeting of the Commission established to undertake a forward looking, comprehensive evaluation of Interior’s trust management.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced $8.4 million in grants to 131 American Indian tribes to support Tribal Historic Preservation Offices under the National Historic Preservation Act. The National Park Service awards grants to these tribes to assist in carrying out national historic preservation program responsibilities on tribal lands.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk was awarded the 2012 Governmental Leadership Award from the National Congress of American Indians for his leadership on behalf of the tribal nations and his work building the foundation for a new era in nation-to-nation relations.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary Larry Echo Hawk expressed his deepest condolences to the family and friends of the late Richard M. Milanovich, the Chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, praising him as a great American Indian leader who represented his people with heart and soul.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of the Interior today announced that there is a 15-day extension to the public comment period on the Cobell Land Consolidation Draft Plan. The public comment period will now end on April 3, 2012.

The Cobell Land Consolidation Program will not be implemented until all court approvals are final; however, Interior has prepared the draft plan to continue the tribal consultation on the development of the program.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk today announced he has issued a final determination (FD) regarding the petition of the Central Band of Cherokee (Petitioner #227) for federal recognition as an Indian tribe. The final determination found that the petitioner, located in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., did not meet the mandatory criteria for acknowledgment under the Code of Federal Regulations.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) Director Keith Moore announced today that the Circle of Nations-Wahpeton Indian Boarding School in Wahpeton, N.D. and the Baca/Dlo' Ay Azhi Community School in Prewitt, N.M. have been nominated to receive the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Green Ribbon Schools award.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Bureau of Indian Affairs Director Michael S. Black today announced that he has named Hankie Ortiz Deputy Bureau Director of the BIA’s Office of Indian Services at the Bureau’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Ortiz is an enrolled member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma with Caddo and Comanche ancestry as well. She had been serving as director of the Office of Tribal Self-Governance at the Indian Health Service (IHS) since September 2007. Her appointment with the BIA became effective on March 26, 2012.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk will be leaving the Department of the Interior after nearly 3 years of leadership. Echo Hawk, an enrolled member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, will resign his position effective April 27, 2012 to assume a leadership position in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Attorney General Eric Holder today announced the settlement of lawsuits filed by 41 federally-recognized tribes against the United States, in which the tribes alleged that the Department of the Interior and the Department of the Treasury had mismanaged monetary assets and natural resources held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the tribes.

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Press Release

MIAMI, FLORIDA — The first government-to-government tribal consultation regarding the Indian Affairs Administrative Organizational Assessment Draft Report and Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education streamlining plans starts today at the Miccosukee Resort in Miami, Fla. The two-day consultation is the first of seven that will take place around the country in Arizona, Washington, South Dakota, Oklahoma, California and Alaska.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – As part of President Obama’s commitment to empowering Indian nations, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that their Departments will begin tribal consultations on a draft agreement to help expand educational opportunities and improve academic achievement for American Indian and Alaska Native students.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that the Bureau of Reclamation today has awarded a $10.75 million construction contract for the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, setting the stage for construction to begin on the major water infrastructure project this summer. When completed, the project will provide a long-term, sustainable water supply to meet the critical needs of more than 43 Navajo chapters; the city of Gallup, New Mexico; and the Teepee Junction area of the Jicarilla Apache Nation.

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Press Release

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. — The second government-to-government tribal consultation regarding the Indian Affairs Administrative Organizational Assessment Draft Report and Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education streamlining plans starts Thursday, April 19, 2012 at the Radisson Fort McDowell Resort Hotel in Fountain Hills, Ariz. The two-day consultation is the second of seven that will take place around the country in Arizona, Florida, Washington, South Dakota, Oklahoma, California and Alaska. The first was held in Miami on April 12 and 13, 2012.

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Press Release

SPOKANE, WASH. — The third government-to-government tribal consultation regarding the Indian Affairs Administrative Organizational Assessment Draft Report and Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education streamlining plans starts Thursday, April 26, 2012 at the Northern Quest Resort and Casino, Wash. The two-day consultation is the third of seven that will take place around the country in Arizona, Florida, South Dakota, Oklahoma, California and Alaska. The first was held in Miami on April 12 and 13, 2012.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – On Friday, April 27, 2012, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will be joined by Crow Tribe Apsáalooke Nation Chairman Cedric Black Eagle and Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer for the signing of a Crow Tribe-Montana Water Rights Compact. The compact seeks to resolve more than three decades of controversy, ensure safe drinking water for the reservation, and provide for the rehabilitation of the Crow Irrigation Project. The ceremony will take place at the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C.

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Press Release

BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, S.D. — Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis today announced the release of the final General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement for the South Unit of Badlands National Park, recommending the establishment of the nation’s first tribal national park in partnership with the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Crow Tribe Apsáalooke Nation, the United States of America and the State of Montana executed the Crow Tribe-Montana Water Rights Compact in an historic signing ceremony today at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Crow Chairman Cedric Black Eagle and Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer signed the compact—marking a major milestone in implementing the Crow Tribal Water Rights Settlement Act of 2010.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) Director Keith Moore announced today that the Circle of Nations-Wahpeton Indian Boarding School from Wahpeton, N.D. has been selected to receive the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Green Ribbon Schools award.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Donald “Del” Laverdure will deliver the keynote address at the 21st Annual Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service being held Thursday, May 3, 2012, at the Bureau of Indian Affairs United States Indian Police Academy in Artesia, N.M. He will be accompanied by BIA Director Mike Black and BIA Office of Justice Services Deputy Bureau Director Darren Cruzan.

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Press Release

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The fourth government-to-government tribal consultation regarding the Indian Affairs Administrative Organizational Assessment Draft Report and Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education streamlining plans starts Thursday, May 3, 2012 at the Holiday Inn Rapid City – Rushmore Plaza, S.D. The two-day consultation is the fourth of seven that will take place around the country in Arizona, Florida, Washington, Oklahoma, California and Alaska. The first was held in Miami on April 12 and 13, 2012.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Donald “Del” Laverdure honored three law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty, expressing his gratitude and appreciation to their family members, friends and colleagues at the 21st Annual Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service.

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Press Release

DURANT, OKLA. — The fifth government-to-government tribal consultation regarding the draft report on Indian Affairs Administrative Organizational Assessment and Bureau of Indian Affairs/ Bureau of Indian Education streamlining plans starts Thursday, May 10, 2012 at the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Okla. The two-day consultation is the fifth of seven that will take place around the country in Arizona, Florida, South Dakota, Washington, California and Alaska. The first was held in Miami on April 12 and 13, 2012.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Donald “Del” Laverdure today welcomed hundreds of tribal leaders and representatives attending the 2012 Tribal Self-Governance Annual Conference taking place this week in New Orleans, La. The conference, which started May 6 and runs through May 10, is being held at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Bureau of Indian Education Family & Child Education Program (FACE) has received national recognition for its exceptional work in promoting young children’s heath and preventing childhood obesity. The recognition came from the first lady’s Let’s Move! Child Care initiative, Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Del Laverdure announced today.

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Press Release

LINCOLN, CALIF. — The sixth government-to-government tribal consultation regarding the draft report on Indian Affairs Administrative Organizational Assessment and Bureau of Indian Affairs/Bureau of Indian Education streamlining plans starts Thursday, May 17, 2012, at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, Calif. The two-day consultation is the sixth of seven that will take place around the country in Arizona, Florida, South Dakota, Washington, Oklahoma and Alaska. The first was held in Miami on April 12 and 13, 2012.

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Press Release

LINCOLN, CALIF. — The sixth government-to-government tribal consultation regarding the draft report on Indian Affairs Administrative Organizational Assessment and Bureau of Indian Affairs/Bureau of Indian Education streamlining plans starts Thursday, May 17, 2012, at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, Calif. The two-day consultation is the sixth of seven that will take place around the country in Arizona, Florida, South Dakota, Washington, Oklahoma and Alaska. The first was held in Miami on April 12 and 13, 2012.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior (DOI) today announced the publication of the United States Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (USEITI) Stakeholder Assessment prepared by the independent third-party facilitator, the Consensus Building Institute (CBI). The Stakeholder Assessment includes suggested options for establishing a Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG), which will be comprised of representatives from government, industry and civil society and will be responsible for overseeing implementation of USEITI.

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Press Release

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA. — The final government-to-government tribal consultation regarding the draft report on Indian Affairs Administrative Organizational Assessment and Bureau of Indian Affairs/Bureau of Indian Education streamlining plans will take place on Wednesday, May 23, 2012, at the Dimond Center Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska. The consultation is the final of seven that have taken place around the country in Arizona, Florida, South Dakota, Washington, Oklahoma and California. The first was held in Miami on April 12 and 13, 2012.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that, as part of the Interior’s Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program, and in cooperation with five Interior agencies, the Bureau of Reclamation is approving two long-term research and experimental programs of high-flow releases and native fish protection to preserve and improve the Grand Canyon and its resources. Together, these decisions represent the most important experimental modification of operations of Arizona’s Glen Canyon Dam in over sixteen years.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Acting Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Donald “Del” Laverdure today issued decisions on two tribal gaming applications in California, determining that one of the proposed gaming sites meets the legal and regulatory requirements and one does not.

Laverdure approved a gaming application for the Ione Band of Miwok Indians in Amador County, Calif., that includes authorization for land to be acquired in trust for gaming purposes under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act’s (IGRA) “Equal Footing Exceptions.”

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Press Release

GALLUP, N.M. – On Saturday, June 2, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly will break ground on the long-awaited Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project in New Mexico. Eventually the project will provide a 280-mile-long pipeline, two water treatment plants and delivery systems that will bring water to more than 250,000 people at more than 43 Navajo chapters, portions of the Jicarilla Apache Nation and the city of Gallup.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Donald “Del” Laverdure today praised a federal training program that is working to develop tribal courts by enhancing and improving the trial advocacy skills of tribal court prosecutors, defenders and judges. The Tribal Court Trial Advocacy Program is a joint effort by the U.S.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Donald “Del” Laverdure today participated with the White House Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs Jodi Gillette to moderate a panel of leaders from across Indian Country in celebration of the contributions made to the First Lady’s Let’s Move! in Indian Country (LMIC) initiative. The event, in honor of the one-year anniversary of the program’s launch, was streamed online at www.WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Donald “Del” Laverdure today issued a statement regarding the unfortunate loss of a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Fort Yuma Agency firefighter on Friday, June 8, 2012.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of President Obama’s commitment to fulfilling this nation’s trust responsibilities to American Indians and Alaska Natives, the Office of the Secretary of the Interior will have the Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform participating in a live radio-broadcast talk show on Wednesday, June 13, 2012. The Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform is tasked with moving forward on their comprehensive evaluation of Interior’s management and administration of the nearly $4 billion in trust assets.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The third public meeting of the Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform was held in Albuquerque, N.M., on June 11-12, 2012.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Donald E. “Del” Laverdure has expressed his sincere condolences to the family of fallen Bureau of Indian Affairs wildland firefighter Anthony Polk, who was killed in the line of duty on June 8. His remarks were conveyed in a letter to the Polk family that will be read at a memorial service being held this afternoon on the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation in southwestern Arizona.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Donald E. “Del” Laverdure today announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services (OJS) has issued a handbook on best practices for reducing crime in Indian Country. The publication, “Crime Reduction Best Practices Handbook: Making Indian Communities Safe 2012,” was developed by the OJS based on the successful deployment of its strategy to meet the Department’s goal of reducing violent crime on four reservations.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that Bureau of Indian Education Director Keith Moore will be leaving his position at the Department of the Interior. Selected by then-Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk, Director Moore led the nation’s only federal education system for American Indian and Alaska Native students and implemented President Obama’s national initiatives for educational advancement in Indian Country.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON –Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will hold a news media teleconference today to announce a milestone in renewable energy development in Indian Country.

Members of the news media can join the 1:30 pm EDT teleconference by dialing 1-888-790- 1963 and providing the access code INTERIOR

WHO:

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Del Laverdure

WHAT:

Media teleconference to announce development regarding renewable energy and tribal lands.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – As part of the Obama Administration’s all of the above approach to American energy, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today approved a 350-megawatt solar energy project on tribal trust land of the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians (Tribe) in Clark County, Nevada. The project marks a milestone as the first-ever, utility-scale solar project approved for development on tribal lands, and is one of the many steps the administration has taken to help strengthen tribal communities.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Donald E. “Del” Laverdure lauded Darwin Cajero, a student at the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) in Albuquerque, N.M., who was a featured speaker at the sesquicentennial celebration of the Morrill Land-grant Act of 1862, this past Tuesday, June 26, 2012, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Donald E. “Del” Laverdure today announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has provided $50,000 in a one-time emergency funding for the Emmonak Women’s Shelter in the Yup’ik Eskimo village of Emmonak, Alaska. The village’s only facility offering domestic violence protection is facing imminent closure due to a funding shortfall.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Donald E. “Del” Laverdure today announced that he has named Thomas D. Thompson as director of the Indian Affairs Office of Budget Management at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Thompson, an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, comes to the Interior Department from the Indian Health Service (IHS) in Phoenix, Ariz., where he had been serving as senior advisor to the area director since June 2010.

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Press Release

FLAGSTAFF, AZ —Government-to-government tribal consultation will occur Friday, July 20, 2012 in Arizona regarding a proposal that would help the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) achieve the objectives of President Obama’s Executive Order 13592 concerning improving educational opportunities provided to American Indian and Alaska Native students.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services (OJS) will hold the first in a series of six training sessions to improve the trial advocacy skills of tribal court prosecutors, defenders and judges. The July 24-26, 2012 training session will be held in Duluth, Minn., and will focus on domestic violence.

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Press Release

SEATTLE, WASH. —Government-to-government tribal consultation will occur Tuesday, July 24, 2012 in Seattle regarding a proposal that would help the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) achieve the objectives of President Obama’s Executive Order 13592 concerning improving educational opportunities provided to American Indian and Alaska Native students.

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Press Release

BISMARCK, N.D. —Government-to-government tribal consultation will occur Friday, July 27, 2012 in Bismarck regarding a proposal that would help the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) achieve the objectives of President Obama’s Executive Order 13592 concerning improving educational opportunities provided to American Indian and Alaska Native students.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today praised President Obama’s signing of the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act (HEARTH Act) which grants greater authority to federally recognized tribes to develop and implement their own regulations for leasing on Indian lands. The Act passed the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support and was signed into law today by President Obama.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Donald E. “Del” Laverdure today announced that the U.S. Department of the Interior will conduct a series of listening sessions with federally-recognized tribes regarding American Indian sacred sites located on federal lands.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Donald E. “Del” Laverdure today announced that the U.S. Department of the Interior will conduct a series of listening sessions with federally-recognized tribes regarding American Indian sacred sites located on federal lands.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of President Obama’s commitment to fulfilling this nation’s trust responsibilities to American Indians and Alaska Natives, the Office of the Secretary of the Interior will have the Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform hold a public Webinar meeting on Monday, August 13, 2012.

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Press Release

Albuquerque, N.M. — The first of five in a series of listening sessions will begin Monday, August 13, 2012. The Obama Administration recognizes that the protection of sacred sites on federal lands is integral to traditional religious practices, tribal identities and emblematic of sovereign tribal nations. These sacred site listening sessions are intended to assist in developing policies that result in effective, comprehensive and long-lasting federal protection of, and tribal access to, the places that are so important to the fabric and culture of tribal nations.

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Press Release

Albuquerque, N.M. — The first of five in a series of listening sessions will begin Monday, August 13, 2012. The Obama Administration recognizes that the protection of sacred sites on federal lands is integral to traditional religious practices, tribal identities and emblematic of sovereign tribal nations. These sacred site listening sessions are intended to assist in developing policies that result in effective, comprehensive and long-lasting federal protection of, and tribal access to, the places that are so important to the fabric and culture of tribal nations.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services (OJS) will hold the second of six training sessions to improve the trial advocacy skills of tribal court prosecutors, defenders and judges on August 14-16, 2012, in Ignacio, Colo. This training session, which will focus on domestic violence, was originally scheduled to take place in Durango.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Acting Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs Donald E. “Del” Laverdure today announced that the proposed rule implementing the Buy Indian Act has been published in the Federal Register. The Buy Indian Act provides Indian Affairs with the authority to set-aside procurement contracts for qualified Indian-owned businesses.

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Press Release

Albuquerque, N.M. — The first consultation on the Buy Indian Act will begin Tuesday, August 14, 2012. The Buy Indian Act provides Indian Affairs with the authority to set-aside procurement contracts for qualified Indian-owned businesses. This proposed rule describes uniform administrative procedures that Indian Affairs will use in all of its locations to encourage procurement of goods and services from eligible Indian economic enterprises, as authorized by the Buy Indian Act.

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Press Release

Billings, MT - The second consultation on the Buy Indian Act will be held Wednesday, August 15, 2012. The Buy Indian Act provides Indian Affairs with the authority to set-aside procurement contracts for qualified Indian-owned businesses. This proposed rule describes uniform administrative procedures that Indian Affairs will use in all of its locations to encourage procurement of goods and services from eligible Indian economic enterprises, as authorized by the Buy Indian Act.

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Press Release

Billings, Mont. — The second of five in a series of listening sessions will begin Thursday, August 16, 2012. The Obama Administration recognizes that the protection of sacred sites on federal lands is integral to traditional religious practices, tribal identities and emblematic of sovereign tribal nations. These sacred site listening sessions are intended to assist in developing policies that result in effective, comprehensive and long-lasting federal protection of, and tribal access to, the places that are so important to the fabric and culture of tribal nations.

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Press Release

Sacramento, CA — The third consultation on the Buy Indian Act will begin Tuesday, August 21, 2012. The Buy Indian Act provides Indian Affairs with the authority to set-aside procurement contracts for qualified Indian-owned businesses. This proposed rule describes uniform administrative procedures that Indian Affairs will use in all of its locations to encourage procurement of goods and services from eligible Indian economic enterprises, as authorized by the Buy Indian Act.

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Press Release

Prior Lake, Minn. — The fourth consultation session on the proposed rule to implement the Buy Indian Act will be held on the morning of Thursday, August 23, 2012. The Act provides Indian Affairs with the authority to set-aside procurement contracts for qualified Indian-owned businesses. The proposed rule describes uniform administrative procedures that Indian Affairs will use in all of its locations to encourage procurement of goods and services from eligible Indian economic enterprises, as authorized by the Buy Indian Act.

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Press Release

Prior Lake, Minn. — The third of five in a series of listening sessions will be held in the afternoon of Thursday, August 23, 2012. The Obama Administration recognizes that the protection of sacred sites on federal lands is integral to traditional religious practices, tribal identities and emblematic of sovereign tribal nations.

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Press Release

Uncasville, Conn. — The fourth of five in a series of listening sessions will be held on the morning of Friday, August 24, 2012. The Obama Administration recognizes that the protection of sacred sites on federal lands is integral to traditional religious practices, tribal identities and emblematic of sovereign tribal nations.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – The Justice and Interior Departments this week launched a new training seminar for tribal and federal law enforcement on investigating and prosecuting sexual assault cases on tribal lands. More than 75 participants from throughout the United States participated in the three day training course, which began on Monday, August 20, 2012. They included tribal and federal law enforcement officers, prosecutors and victim specialists from 23 tribal nations and 23 states.

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Press Release

Portland, Ore. — The fifth and final in a series of listening sessions will be held on the morning of Tuesday, August 28, 2012. The Obama Administration recognizes that the protection of sacred sites on federal lands is integral to traditional religious practices, tribal identities and emblematic of sovereign tribal nations.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Donald E. “Del” Laverdure today announced that, in addition to ongoing efforts by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to address reported child safety and protection deficiencies at the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe in North Dakota, he is sending in a strike team of senior BIA officials from its Central Office to assess and evaluate efforts to improve the Tribe’s social services program. The decision to deploy senior officials to the region came at the urging of U.S. Senator Kent Conrad.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Donald E. “Del” Laverdure today issued the following statement on the recent passing of Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Chairman Stanley R. Crooks:

“Stanley Crooks, the late chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community in Minnesota, takes his place among the thoughtful, far-seeing and decisive tribal leaders that Indian Country has produced throughout history.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Donald E. “Del” Laverdure today announced additional actions that Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) officials are taking to aid the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe in its efforts to improve child safety and protection on its reservation. On August 24, Laverdure announced that he was sending in a “strike team” of senior BIA officials to assess and evaluate efforts to improve the Tribe’s social services program at the urging of U.S. Senator Kent Conrad.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform will hold its next public meeting on Sept. 13-14, 2012, in Bismarck, N.D. It will be preceded by a public facilitated discussion hosted by Commissioner Tex Hall in the afternoon of Sept. 12 in New Town, N.D., for members of the public to share their perspectives about trust management and administration. In addition, a youth-outreach session will be held the evening of Sept. 13 at the United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) in Bismarck.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services (OJS) will hold the third of six training sessions to improve the trial advocacy skills of tribal court prosecutors, defenders and judges on September 11-13, 2012, in Great Falls, Mont. This training session will focus on cases dealing with the sexual assault of children and adults.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Donald E. “Del” Laverdure today issued a final determination on a petition for federal acknowledgment, declining to acknowledge the Brothertown Indian Nation (Brothertown) as an Indian tribe under federal law. Brothertown is located in Wisconsin and first submitted its petition in 1980.

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Press Release

TULSA, Okla. — The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs has added an extra session to the Interior Department’s series of listening meetings on sacred sites in Indian Country. A sixth session will be held on Tuesday, September 18, 2012, in Tulsa, Okla. The first five were held last month in Albuquerque, N.M., Billings, Mont., Prior Lake, Minn., Uncasville, Conn., and Portland, Ore.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Donald “Del” Laverdure today announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has agreed to a request by the Spirit Lake Tribe of the Fort Totten Reservation in North Dakota to assume administrative responsibility for its social services program. The Tribe, by letter dated September 14, 2012, requested to voluntarily retrocede the social services program to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In keeping with its mission to establish responsive, accountable, transparent, and customer-friendly management of Indian trust funds and assets, the Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform reached out to Indian Country at its fifth public meeting of the year in Bismarck, N.D. All five Commission members – Chair Fawn Sharp, Tex G. “Red Tipped Arrow” Hall, Stacy Leeds, Dr. Peterson Zah, and Robert Anderson – participated in the September 13-14, 2012, conference.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today applauded President Obama’s intent to nominate Vincent G. Logan, a member of the Osage Nation, as the next Special Trustee for American Indians.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today applauded the Senate’s confirmation of Kevin K. Washburn, a member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, to serve as Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior. The Senate confirmed Washburn’s nomination, which President Obama announced in early August, by unanimous consent last night.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 2012—Officials from the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) have signed two memorandums of understanding (MOU) designed to foster improved access to USDA and BIA programs by tribes and tribal members. The memorandums apply to programs administered by the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Rural Development at USDA, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior (DOI).

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of President Obama’s efforts to expand domestic energy production and strengthen American Indian communities, on Wednesday, October 10, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will join Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Donald E. “Del” Laverdure, Bureau of Indian Affairs Director Mike Black and Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Tex Hall to make an announcement regarding energy development on tribal lands in North Dakota.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – As part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to expand domestic energy production, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced approval of a ‘land-into-trust’ application from the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation. Today’s action is one in a series of necessary approvals that will enable the tribes to build the first U.S. refinery in decades, supporting American made energy – including domestic resources from the Bakken Formation – while also creating jobs.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Bureau of Indian Education today announced a new policy aimed at preventing domestic violence and sexual assaults at the two post secondary institutions operated by the BIE for American Indians: Haskell Indian Nations University (HINU) in Lawrence, Kan., and the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) in Albuquerque, N.M.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice announced today a policy addressing the ability of members of federally recognized Indian tribes to possess or use eagle feathers, an issue of great cultural significance to many tribes and their members. Attorney General Eric Holder signed the new policy after extensive department consultation with tribal leaders and tribal groups. The policy covers all federally protected birds, bird feathers and bird parts.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that Indian Affairs will be holding informational and consultation sessions in the coming weeks seeking input from tribal leaders in preparation for the Interior Department’s 2013 American Indian Population and Labor Force Report. The sessions will provide an opportunity for tribal leaders to provide their views on what should comprise the report’s scope, data, and methodology.

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Press Release

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—On Monday, October 22, 2012, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will deliver keynote remarks at the National Congress of American Indians’ 69th Annual Convention & Marketplace in Sacramento. Salazar is expected to discuss the Obama Administration’s progress in opening a new chapter in our nation-to-nation relationship with American Indian and Alaska Natives tribal governments.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services (OJS) will hold its fourth training session to improve the trial advocacy skills of tribal court prosecutors, defenders and judges on October 23-25, 2012, in Chinle, Ariz., on the Navajo Nation Reservation. This training will focus on cases dealing with domestic violence.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs will be holding tribal consultation sessions on Oct. 29 and 30 and Nov. 1 and 9, 2012, to seek comments and suggestions from tribal leaders in preparation for the Interior Department’s 2013 American Indian Population and Labor Force Report. The sessions will provide an opportunity for tribal leaders to provide their views on the report’s scope, data, and methodology. Four consultation sessions will take place: three in person and one via a national teleconference.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform will hold a public webinar meeting on Nov. 7, 2012. The objectives of the meeting are to:

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services (OJS) will hold its fifth training session to improve the trial advocacy skills of tribal court prosecutors, defenders and judges on November 13-15, 2012, in Seattle, Wash. This training will focus on cases dealing with sexual assault on children and adults.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today welcomed leadership from the Hopi Tribe and the Navajo Nation to Washington, D.C. to hold discussions on a potential Little Colorado River water settlement that could be acted upon by Congress. This is the first time that leaders of the two tribes have joined with a Secretary of the Interior to address this shared water issue.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, December 5, President Obama will host the White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of the Interior. The conference will provide leaders from the 566 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

PAGE, Ariz. – On Monday, November 19, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will join Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Anne Castle, National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Mike Connor to trigger the first “high-flow experimental release” at Glen Canyon Dam since 2008.

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Press Release

PAGE, AZ–Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today triggered the first “high-flow experimental release” at Glen Canyon Dam since 2008, as part of a new experimental long-term protocol announced in May by the Secretary to better distribute sediment to conserve downstream resources, while meeting water and power needs and allowing continued scientific experimentation, data collection, and monitoring to more fully address the important resources in the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam.

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Press Release

On Thanksgiving Day, Americans everywhere gather with family and friends to recount the joys and blessings of the past year. This day is a time to take stock of the fortune we have known and the kindnesses we have shared, grateful for the God-given bounty that enriches our lives. As many pause to lend a hand to those in need, we are also reminded of the indelible spirit of compassion and mutual responsibility that has distinguished our Nation since its earliest days.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today lauded the final approval of the Cobell settlement and outlined steps that Interior will take to help implement the historic $3.4 billion settlement. The settlement resolves a long-running class action lawsuit regarding the U.S. government's trust management and historical accounting of individual American Indian trust accounts. It became final on November 24, 2012, following action by the Supreme Court and expiration of the appeal period.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – As part of President Obama’s commitment to empower tribal nations and strengthen their economies, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced final regulations that will streamline the leasing approval process on Indian land, spurring increased homeownership, and expediting business and commercial development, including renewable energy projects.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of President Obama’s efforts to empower tribal nations and strengthen economies, on Tuesday, November 27, 2012, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will join Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn to make a major announcement regarding the regulation of surface leasing on Indian lands.

Media may participate by dialing 1-888-769-8791 and providing the access code INTERIOR.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar joined leaders from the 566 federally recognized tribes and senior government officials today at the White House Tribal Nations Conference hosted by President Obama. The conference, the fourth held during the Obama Administration, continues to build upon the President’s commitment to strengthen the nation to nation relationship with Indian Country.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that the Department of the Interior disbursed, or paid out, $12.15 billion in revenue generated from energy production on public lands and offshore areas in Fiscal Year 2012 – a $1 billion increase over the previous year, and in line with increased production taking place across the country. The revenues were distributed to state, federal, and tribal accounts, providing important funding and supporting critical reclamation, conservation and preservation projects.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2012—Four cabinet-level departments joined the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation today in signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to improve the protection of Indian sacred sites. The MOU also calls for improving tribal access to the sites. It was signed by cabinet secretaries from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy and Interior. It was also signed by the chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that, starting on December 14, 2012, the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services (OJS) will begin its “Don’t Shatter the Dream” campaign throughout Indian Country to prevent impaired driving during this holiday season. The campaign is being conducted by BIA and tribal law enforcement agencies through January 1, 2013.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, December 18, 2012, Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn will participate in a press conference call with reporters to discuss the next steps in implementing the land consolidation component of the historic Cobell Settlement.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today issued the following statement on the passing of United States Senator Daniel K. Inouye:

“Senator Inouye was a remarkable man who served his country at a time of its greatest peril during World War II and later as a distinguished member of Congress. His endurance of racial prejudice made him a champion of human rights and dignity – a hallmark of his chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON D.C. –The Department of the Interior today announced the initial framework of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations that will purchase fractional interests in American Indian trust lands from willing sellers, enabling tribal governments to use the consolidated parcels for the benefit of their communities.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn visited the Pueblo of Isleta today to participate in the tribe’s impaired-driving checkpoint under the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ 2012 national campaign to prevent impaired driving during the holiday season, known as “Don’t Shatter the Dream.” Operated by the Bureau’s Office of Justice Services (OJS), the campaign began December 14 and will continue through January 1, 2013.

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