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News by Year

Press Release

WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts announced today that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has improved its Fee-to-Trust Handbook to reduce the processing time for requests from federally recognized tribes to have land taken into trust for their benefit and proclamations that declare the lands are part of their tribal reservations.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON - Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts, who leads the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs, joined Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy to announce the transfer of 24,959 acres previously acquired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the construction of the Garrison Dam project to the Department of the Interior, which will hold the land in trust for the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Lawrence S. Roberts, who is leading the Office of the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs, announced today awards of $8.7 million to 63 federally recognized tribes and tribally chartered organizations under the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Tribal Climate Resilience Program. The awards will support tribally based efforts to address climate change and its effects on tribal lands and resources.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON -- To address concerns regarding mineral leasing and development activity adjacent to Chaco Culture National Historical Park, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael L. Connor today announced the U.S. Department of the Interior will expand the resource management planning effort underway in the Farmington, New Mexico area.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – In keeping with President Obama’s commitment to tribal self-governance and strengthening tribal economies, acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts today announced that Ohkay Owingeh now has the sovereign authority to lease tribal lands consistent with the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (or HEARTH) Act. Roberts was joined by Ohkay Owingeh Governor Earl N.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – James E. Cason, Associate Deputy Secretary announces today that Grayford Payne, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Indian Affairs was one of fifteen individuals to receive the 2005 Secretary’s Executive Leadership Award at a ceremony held today at the Department of the Interior.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Following President Obama’s State of the Union address, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will travel to Indian Country with stops in Arizona and New Mexico. Secretary Jewell will mark continued progress in the transformation of the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) school process and make an historic announcement on the restoration of tribal homelands.

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Press Release

RED VALLEY, Ariz. – On the heels of President Obama’s State of the Union address where he committed to focusing on challenges and opportunities that will impact America for generations to come – including in Indian Country – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced $45 million to build the last previously identified Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) school construction projects.

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Press Release

ISLETA PUEBLO, N.M. – As part of President Obama’s goal of placing half a million acres of tribal homelands into trust for the benefit of tribal nations, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs has placed 89,978 acres of land into trust status for the Pueblo of Isleta. The Administration’s single largest trust acquisition to date brings to nearly 400,000 the total acreage placed in trust on behalf of federally recognized tribes since 2009.

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Press Release

FY 2017 Budget Reflects Commitment to Conserve Natural, Cultural Resources, Responsibly Develop Domestic Energy, Support Sound Science and Meet Trust Responsibilities for Native Americans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget request of $13.4 billion for the Department of the Interior reflects the Administration’s commitment to investing in communities, building partnerships and using science and innovation to create economic opportunities and sustain our natural, cultural and historic resources for future generations.

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Press Release

Request builds on commitment to Indian Country to promote tribal self-determination and self-governance through investments in education for Native youth, support to Indian families, public safety in tribal communities, full payment of contract support costs, tribal governance of land and natural resources, tribal resilience to climate change, and promotion of tribal culture

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – As part of President Obama’s Generation Indigenous (“Gen-I”) initiative to remove barriers to success for Native Youth, Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts today announced the launch of the 2016 Indian Affairs Student Leadership Summer Institute, a paid 10-week summer internship program with the agency that begins in early June.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Furthering President Obama’s efforts to support American Indian and Alaska Native families and protect tribal communities, Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts; U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Administrator Robert L. Listenbee; and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Acting Administrator Kana Enomoto today announced a draft revised BIA Model Indian Juvenile Code.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts today announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), in partnership with the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, will hold a landmark training program in 2016 designed specifically for social workers and tribal court presenters in the preparation, preservation and presentation of evidence in child welfare cases.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – In partnership with the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) will hold its first tribal court training of 2016 on March 8-10. The training is designed specifically for social workers and tribal court presenters in the preparation, preservation and presentation of evidence in child welfare cases. The first session will be held at the Tribe’s Casino Del Sol Conference Center and Resort in Tucson, Ariz. Additional training dates and locations will be announced at a later date.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON — As part of the Obama Administration’s effort to prepare communities nationwide for the impacts of a changing climate, acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts today announced that Indian Affairs will provide nearly $6.5 million to fund tribal projects that promote climate change adaptation and ocean and coastal management planning.

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Press Release

ST. PAUL, MINN. – In keeping with President Obama’s commitment to supporting Indian families and fostering resilient, thriving tribal communities through his all-of-government approach, acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts today announced that the Departments of Interior (DOI), Justice (DOJ), and Health and Human Services (HHS) have entered into a collaborative agreement to ensure more robust compliance with and implementation of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978 (Public Law 95-608).

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts announced today the 10 Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools eligible for funding for campus-wide replacement. Publication of this list completes the process for identifying the Department’s top priority schools for campus-wide replacement developed through negotiated rulemaking required by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior today announced that an additional $4.8 million has been transferred to the Cobell Education Scholarship Fund (Scholarship Fund), bringing the total amount contributed so far to almost $39 million. The Scholarship Fund – funded in part by the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program) and authorized by the Cobell Settlement – provides financial assistance through scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native students wishing to pursue post-secondary and graduate education and training.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Acting Bureau of Indian Education Director Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes will address the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute’s (SIPI) graduating class of 2016 at a commencement ceremony on Friday, April 15, at the SIPI campus in Albuquerque, N.M.

Established in 1971 at the request of the 19 Pueblo tribes in New Mexico and other federally recognized tribes to help train American Indians and Alaska Natives for employment, SIPI is a National Indian Community College and Land Grant Institution with a national, tribally appointed board of regents.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts announced today the availability of approximately $9.1 million for three funding opportunities for federally recognized Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages, Alaska Native regional or village corporations, authorized tribal organizations, and Tribal Energy Resource Development Organizations.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Director Michael S. Black will deliver the keynote address at the 25th Annual Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service being held Thursday, May 5, 2016, at the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Indian Police Academy in Artesia, N.M. He will be accompanied by BIA Office of Justice Services Deputy Bureau Director Darren Cruzan.

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Press Release

Albuquerque, NM – This week, prosecutors and special agents from the Office of the Attorney General joined the Bureau of Indian Affairs, tribal law enforcement agencies, service providers and the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women (CSVANW) to combat human trafficking on Native American lands in New Mexico. The working conference, Sex Trafficking in Indian Country, demonstrates the critical importance of federal, state and tribal entities working together with service providers to attack human trafficking and protect victims on tribal lands in New Mexico.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON– Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts today announced final, updated measures to protect the rights of Indian children, their parents and their tribes in state child welfare proceedings. The measures, comprised in a final rule announced today, will support the stability and security of Indian families and tribes by providing a more consistent interpretation of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), regardless of the child welfare worker, judge or state involved.

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Press Release

SPOKANE, WA – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today joined leaders of the Spokane Tribe of Indians in Washington State to commemorate the tribe’s selection as a Promise Zone, which was announced by President Obama on June 6 as part of the third and final round of Promise Zone designations.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts today announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ popular publication, the Tribal Leaders Directory, is now available as an electronic searchable map. The map provides up-to-date contact information for the nation’s 567 federally recognized tribes and all BIA regional offices and agencies. The map can be accessed via the bia.gov and indianaffairs.gov websites using the Tribal Leaders Directory link.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, the director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Michael S. Black, announced that the BIA is publishing a final rule intended to officially reinstate to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) the correct operative version of 25 CFR Part 226—Leasing of Osage Reservation Lands for Oil and Gas Mining.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant Secretary –Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts today announced the approval of a $23.5 million loan guarantee to the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) that will allow it to acquire a greater ownership interest in NTUA Wireless, LLC, a telecommunications services company serving the Navajo Nation. The company is a partnership of NTUA and Commnet Wireless, a rural wireless service provider based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts announced today that the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) has awarded business development grants totaling $947,406 to 20 federally recognized tribes and one Alaska Native corporation. The awards from IEED’s Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) Feasibility Study Program will enable tribal leaders to better evaluate and identify viable economic opportunities for their communities.

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Press Release

"The Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services respects the rights of tribes and citizens to express their views in a peaceful and lawful manner. The presence of additional BIA law enforcements officers at Standing Rock was provided at the request of tribal leadership. The responsibility of BIA law enforcement officers is to protect the peace and provide for the safety and well-being of the citizens of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and individuals within the territory of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation."

-DOI-

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Lawrence S. Roberts, who is leading the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs, announced today that the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) has extended its deadline for nominations of qualified individuals to serve on a negotiated rulemaking committee (NRC) that will recommend revisions to its school accountability system. Nominees are being sought from federally recognized tribes whose students attend BIE-funded schools.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON - The Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior issued the following statement regarding Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. “Larry” Roberts today announced that the Obama Administration has exceeded its goal of placing half a million acres of tribal homelands into trust for federally recognized tribes.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Furthering President Obama’s Generation Indigenous (“Gen-I”) and Tiwahe initiatives that support American Indian and Alaska Native families and strengthen tribal communities, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. “Larry” Roberts today announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Justice Services (OJS) is once again partnering with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which will take place on Saturday, October 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. local time. OJS is working with tribal law enforcement agencies to implement Take-Back Day in their jurisdictions.

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Press Release

FAIRBANKS, Alaska – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced a Secretarial Order encouraging cooperative management opportunities between the Department’s land and water managers and federally-recognized tribes.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Lawrence S. Roberts, who leads the Office of the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs, today announced new leadership for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). Weldon ‘Bruce’ Loudermilk will succeed Michael S. Black as Director of the BIA and Tony Dearman will be the new Director of the BIE.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts announced today that applications to the Indian Affairs Student Leadership Summer Institute, a 10-week paid internship for post-secondary Native students now in its second year, are being accepted for 2017. The deadline for applications is November 30, 2016.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of President Obama’s commitment to help American Indian leaders strengthen self-sufficiency and self-determination, U.S. Department of Interior officials will remove liens placed on thousands of acres of tribal lands acquired under the Indian Land Consolidation Act (ILCA) program and return the revenues generated by these liens to tribal communities to use for reacquiring tribal homelands. The announcement was made today by U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael Connor, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Lawrence S.

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Press Release

ANCHORAGE – U.S. Department of the Interior Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor today signed an agreement with officials from the Ahtna Intertribal Resources Commission (AITRC) which coordinates natural resource management issues for the eight federally recognized tribes in the Ahtna region to create a cooperative wildlife management demonstration project on federal and Ahtna Corporation lands in Southcentral Alaska.

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Press Release

TO: Indian Country Reporters
FROM: U.S. Dept. of the Interior Communications Office
DATE: December 2016
RE: U.S. Department of the Interior Tribal Nations Accomplishments

Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will begin a nationwide tour to highlight the progress the nation has made over the last eight years on public lands, waters and wildlife management and restoring nation-to-nation relationships with Native Americans.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Deputy Secretary Mike Connor and other senior Interior Administration officials will embark on a two-week nationwide tour to highlight progress the nation has made during the last eight years to: protect our nation’s lands, waters and wildlife; restore the nation-to-nation relationship with Native Americans and Alaska Natives; engage the next generation; and invest in sound science to inform decisions related to energy development, conservation and our changing climate.

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Press Release

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Indian Health Service (IHS) and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) entered into an Interagency Agreement today that will increase access to mental and behavioral health services for students attending BIE schools and youth detained in BIA Office of Justice Services (OJS) facilities.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – As part of President Obama’s commitment to work with tribal leaders to promote tribal self-determination and economic development, the Department of the Interior is seeking guidance from Native American communities on a proposal to streamline and modernize regulations that govern business operations on tribal homelands.

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Press Release

WASHINGTON – Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Lawrence S. Roberts today announced final, updated Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) guidelines for implementing the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA) that will better protect the rights of Indian children, their parents and their tribes in state child welfare proceedings.

The guidelines explain the ICWA statute and regulations while also providing examples of best practices for its implementation, the goal of which is to encourage greater uniformity in the application of ICWA measures.

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