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U.S. Indian Affairs

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Bureau of Indian Affairs

These are the official social media accounts for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

BIA Office of Justice Services

These are the official social media accounts for the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Office of Justice Services.

BIA Office of Trust Services, Wildland Fire Management

These are the official social media accounts for the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Office of Trust Services, Division of Wildland Fire Management.

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Contact Us

Bureau of Indian Affairs
1849 C Street, N.W. MS-4606
Washington, DC 20240
Open 8:30 a.m. –4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday.

Bureau of Indian Affairs

Our Mission

At 200 years old, the Bureau of Indian Affairs is the oldest bureau in the Department of the Interior. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life, promote economic opportunities, and to carry out the federal responsibilities entrusted to us to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians and Alaska Natives. We accomplish this either directly, through contracts, compact agreements.
BIA 200th Year Honoring a New Era of Tribal Revitalization

Who We Serve

In keeping with the authorities and responsibilities under the Snyder Act of 1921 and other federal laws, regulations, and treaties, BIA employees across the country work with tribal governments and tribal members in the administration of employment and job training assistance; law enforcement and justice; agricultural and economic development; tribal governance; and natural resources management programs to enhance the quality of life in tribal communities.

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Key Information

About

Organization Chart PDF

BIA Org Chart

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Johnna Blackhair

Deputy Bureau Director, Trust Services

Organization:

Johnna Blackhair is the Deputy Bureau Director for Trust Services at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. She oversees 16 divisions responsible for assisting 574 tribal governments and allottees (individual Indians owning federal Indian trust assets) in managing, protecting, and developing their trust lands and natural resources, totaling 56 million surface acres and 60 million acres of subsurface mineral estates.

Blackhair began her official federal career in 1991 in the Land Conservation Office at the Uintah and Ouray Agency in Fort Duchesne, Utah, where she conducted various real estate transactions, natural resource, and conservation functions. She served as the Realty Officer in 2002 at the agency and became the Southwest Regional Officer in 2010.

Throughout her federal career, she has held a number of field leadership positions and supported national initiatives, including Superintendent positions at Mescalero Agency (NM) and Uintah and Ouray Agency (UT), Eastern Regional Office Deputy Regional Director, Eastern Regional Office Regional Director (TN), covering as the Superintendent at the Seminole Agency (FL), Syracuse Field Office (NY), Choctaw Agency (MS), Acting Associate Deputy Bureau Director - Trust Services in January to April 2018 (DC), and in September 2019, she was named Deputy Bureau Director - Trust. In addition to her national Trust roles, Blackhair acted in the capacity of the Deputy Bureau Director, Indian Services (DC) for 15 months (July 2022 – Oct. 2023).

Currently, Blackhair is one of four Department of the Interior federal employees appointed to the Congressional Wildland Fire Mitigation & Management Commission and held BIA’s leadership role on the national Wildland Fire Leadership Council and the Senior Executive leading Indian Energy Service Center in Lakewood, Colorado, since 2018.

Blackhair is an enrolled member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe in Montana. She holds an associate's degree from Northern Montana College and a bachelor’s degree in information systems and business administration from Utah State University. She remains connected with her culture, traditional arts, crafts, and ceremonies and enjoys time in the outdoors with her family.

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Johnna Blackhair

Contact Us

Trust Services
1849 C Street, N.W., Room 4600
Washington, DC 20240
Hours
Open 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Monday–Friday.
Telephone
(202) 208-3615

Richard “Glen” Melville

Deputy Bureau Director, Office of Justice Services

Richard “Glen” Melville, an enrolled member of Makah Tribe of Washington, is the deputy bureau director, Office of Justice Services. Melville joined the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1997 and served a 29-year career with the bureau and Tribal law enforcement programs before retiring in 2021 as the deputy associate director for the Office of Justice Services. He returned from retirement in 2022 to lead OJS’s public safety programs.

Melville began his career as a police officer with the Makah Tribe in Washington in 1995. He advanced through numerous leadership law enforcement positions with the National Park Service and Homeland Security’s Coast Guard Investigative Services before continuing his career with the BIA in 2012 as the assistant agent in charge of District I in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and then special agent in charge of District VII in Portland, Oregon, before becoming the deputy associate director.

Melville has also served as the acting regional director for Great Plains Region in 2018 and the acting regional director for the Eastern Region in 2020.

Melville is a graduate of the Department of the Interior’s Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Criminal Investigations Training Program, the Naval Criminal Investigations Service Training Program, the FBI Command College, and the Indian Police Academy.

When not working, Melville enjoys spending time outdoors hunting and fishing with his family and volunteering as a soccer coach at the local high school.

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Richard Glen Melville

Contact Us

BIA Office of Justice Services
Office of Justice Services Headquarters 1849 C Street NW MS-3662-MIB
Washington, 20240
Hours
Open 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Monday–Friday.
Telephone
(202) 208-5787

200 Years of Bureau of Indian Affairs History

BIA 200th Year Honoring a New Era of Tribal Revitalization

As the oldest bureau in the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs employees have experienced a long and complicated history when it comes to our federal relationship with Tribes. It involves 150 years of enforcing federal policies designed to terminate, relocate, and assimilate American Indians and Tribal Nations. Collectively, these policies represented attacks on Tribal sovereignty and did lasting damage to Tribal communities, Tribal economies, and the institutions of Tribal governance. Only in the last 50 years have employees, who are tribal members themselves, been able to lift up policies designed to support Tribal governance and self-determination. Today, the Bureau of Indian Affairs is proud to live out our mission to enhance the quality of life, promote economic opportunities, and to carry out the responsibilities entrusted to us to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Introduction

For almost 200 years, dating back to the role it played in negotiating treaty agreements between the United States and tribes in the late 18th and 19th centuries, the BIA has embodied the trust and government-to-government relationships between the United States and federally recognized Tribes.

Over the years, the BIA has been involved in the implementation of federal laws that have directly affected all Americans. The General Allotment Act of 1887 opened tribal lands west of the Mississippi to non-Indian settlers, the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 granted American Indians and Alaska Natives U.S. citizenship and the right to vote, and the New Deal and the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 established modern tribal governments. The World War II period of relocation and the post-war termination era of the 1950s led to the activism of the 1960s and 1970s that saw the occupation of the BIA’s headquarters and resulted in the creation of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975. The Tribal Self-Governance Act of 1994 along with the Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act have fundamentally changed how the federal government and the tribes conduct business with each other.

Commissioners

Since 1824, there have been 45 Commissioners of Indian Affairs, of whom six have been American Indian or Alaska Native:

Ely S. Parker, Seneca (1869-1871); Robert L. Bennett, Oneida (1966-1969); Louis R. Bruce, Mohawk-Oglala Sioux (1969-1973); Morris Thompson, Athabascan (1973-1976); Benjamin Reifel, Sioux (1976-1977); and William E. Hallett, Red Lake Chippewa (1979-1981).

William Hallett was the last to serve as BIA Commissioner following the establishment of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs position within the Department of the Interior in 1977. Since then, 12 individuals, all American Indians, have been confirmed by the United States Senate for the post: Forrest J. Gerard, Blackfeet (1977-1980); Thomas W. Fredericks, Mandan-Hidatsa (1981); Kenneth L. Smith, Wasco (1981-1984); Ross O. Swimmer, Cherokee Nation (1985-1989); Dr. Eddie F. Brown, Tohono O’odham-Yaqui (1989-1993); Ada E. Deer, Menominee (1993-1997); Kevin Gover, Pawnee (1997-2001); Neal A. McCaleb, Chickasaw Nation (2001-2002); David W. Anderson, Lac Courte Oreilles Chippewa-Choctaw (2004-2005); and Carl J. Artman, Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin (2007-2008); Larry Echo Hawk, Pawnee (2009-2012); Kevin K. Washburn, Chickasaw Nation (2012-2016). Tara Katuk Mac Lean Sweeney, Native Village of Barrow Inupiat Traditional Government/Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope (2018-2021). Bryan Newland, Bay Mills Indian Community (2021-Current).

Bureau Directors

From 1981 to 2003, the title "Deputy Commissioner" was used to denote the head of the BIA. In 2003, after a major reorganization of the BIA, the title was administratively changed to "Director," which is still in use today.

The first BIA Director was Terrance Virden, followed by Brian Pogue and Patrick Ragsdale (2005-2007). Jerold L. "Jerry" Gidner, Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa served from (2007-2010). Michael Black, Oglala Lakota Sioux, served as Director from 2010 to November, 2016. Bruce Loudermilk, a citizen of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana, served as Director from November 2016 to September 2017. Bryan Rice, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma was appointed in October of 2017. On April 28, 2019, Darryl LaCounte was appointed, and is the current Director. He is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in North Dakota.

Employees

In keeping with the authorities and responsibilities granted under the Snyder Act of 1921 and other Federal laws, regulations, and treaties, BIA employees across the country work with tribal governments in the administration of law enforcement and justice; agricultural and economic development; tribal governance; and natural resources management programs to enhance the quality of life in tribal communities.

Organization

The BIA carries out its core mission to serve 574 federally recognized Tribes through the Office of the Director, and four offices led by senior executive service leaders.

  • Within the Office of the Director resides three key programs. These include Emergency Management, Tiwahe, and Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights Programs.

  • The Office of Indian Services promotes the strength and health of American Indian communities by supporting social services like workforce development, child welfare, and tribal enrollment; uniform contract support for ISDEAA agreements, and improvement of BIA managed transportation systems.

  • The Office of Justice Services provides for the safety of American Indian communities by supporting protection of life and property, enforcing laws, maintaining justice and order, and by confining American Indian offenders in safe, secure, and humane environments.

  • The Office of Trust Services assists Tribes and allottees in managing, protecting, and developing their trust lands and natural resources, which total 56 million surface acres and 60 million acres of subsurface mineral estates. OTS aids landowners in stewardship of cultural, spiritual, and traditional resources, and helps create sustainable sources of revenue and jobs for their communities.

  • The Office of Field Operations delivers program services to federally recognized tribes and individual Indians and Alaska Natives, either directly or through contracts, grants or compacts. These programs are administered by 12 regional offices and 83 agencies that report to the BIA Deputy Director-Field Operations.

Indian Health Service

The BIA's responsibilities once included providing health care services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. In 1954, that function was legislatively transferred to the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, now known as the Department of Health and Human Services, where it has remained to this day as the Indian Health Service.

Contact Us

Bureau of Indian Affairs
MS-4606 1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20240
Open 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday.

Contact Human Services

Division Leadership

Staff Positions:

Division Chief
Social Science Program Specialist
Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Specialist
Child Protection and Family Advocate
Housing Improvement Program Officer
Program Specialist

Call For Assistance: 202-513-7642

Alaska Region

Contact Information:

Alaska Reginal Office
3601 C Street,
Suite 1200 MC403
Anchorage, AK 99503

Human Services Staff
Human Services Director
Social Worker
Social Services Representative

Phone: 907-271-4111

Eastern Oklahoma Region

Contact Information
Eastern Oklahoma Region Office
3100 West Peak Boulevard
Muskogee, OK 74401

Human Services Staff
Regional Social Worker
Social Worker
Child Protection Worker
Program Analyst/DV Worker

Phone: 918-781-4613

Eastern Region

Contact Information
Eastern Regional Office
545 Marriott Drive, Suite 700
Nashville, TN 37214

Human Services Staff
Regional Social Worker
Social Worker
Program Analyst
Social Services Representative

Main Office: 615-564-5600

Great Plains Region

Contact Information
Great Plains Regional Office
115 4th Avenue SE
Aberdeen, SD 57401

Human Services Staff
Regional Social Worker
Child Welfare Specialist
Staff Support Assistant
Domestic Violence Family Advocate
Individual Indian Monies Social Worker

Office: 605-226-7351

Midwest Region

Contact Information
Midwest Regional Office
Norman Pointe II Building
5600 W. American Blvd, Suite 500
Bloomington, MN 55437

Human Services Staff
Regional Social Worker
Individual Indian Monies Social Worker
Staff Support Assistant

Contact: 612-725-4572

Contact Information
Navajo Region
301 West Hill Avenue
Gallup, NM 87301

Human Services Staff
Regional Social Worker
Individual Indian Monies Social Work Specialist
Social Work Program Specialist (CPS/CW Social Worker)

Office: 505.863.8215

Northwest Region

Contact Information
Northwest Region
911 NE 11th Avenue
Portland, OR 97232
Human Services Staff
Regional Social Worker
Child Welfare Social Worker
Contract Social Worker
Social Worker
Program Specialists

Office: 503-231-6785

Pacific Region

Contact Information
Pacific Region
2800 Cottage Way,
Suite W-2820
Sacramento, CA 95825

Human Services Staff
Regional Social Worker
Individual Indian Monies Social Worker
Child Welfare Social Worker
Social Services Representative

Office: 916-978-6000

Rocky Mountain Region

Contact Information
2021 4th Avenue N.
Billings, MT 59101

Human Services Staff
Regional Social Worker
Meth Initiative Coordinator
Social Service Representative ICWA, Child Protection and IIM
Social Worker, Supervised IIM and Child Protection
Social Worker, Child Protection/Child Welfare and IIM

Social Services: IA_RMRO_SOCIAL_SERVICES@bia.gov
Self Determination: RMRO_Self-Determination@bia.gov

Office: 406-247-7988

Southern Plains Region

Contact Information
Southern Plains Region
PO Box 368
Anadarko, OK 73005
Human Services Staff
Regional Social Worker
Individual Indian Monies Specialist
Social Worker Assistant

Office: 405.247.6673

Southwest Region

Contact Information
Southwest Region
1001 Indian School Road NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104

Human Services Staff

Individual Indian Monies Social Worker
Child Welfare Social Worker
Program Assistant

Office: 505-563-3522

Western Region

Contact Information
Western Region
2600 N. Central Avenue,
4th Floor Mailroom
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Human Services Staff
Regional Social Worker
Child Welfare Social Worker
2 Individual Indian Monies Social Workers
Domestic Violence Social Worker
Social Service Representative

Office: 602-379-6785

Contact Us

Office of Indian Services, Division of Human Services
1849 C Street NW MS-3645 MIB
Washington, DC 20240
Open 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday.

2024 Tribal Assistance Coordination Group Conference

The Tribal Assistance Coordination Group Conference brings together tribal emergency managers and program personnel, federal emergency management personnel, volunteer organization active in disasters personnel, state, local and non-government organizations involved in emergency management professionals to share the latest program information and best practices for all hazard emergencies and disasters.

We look forward to seeing you!

Conference Location & Reservations

Crowne Plaza Hotel & Resort, located at 4300 E Washington Street, Phoenix Arizona 85034

ROOM RESERVATIONS:

  • Each individual is responsible for making their own guestroom reservation.
  • A block of rooms is reserved for 75 attendees.
  • All reservations must be guaranteed and accompanied by a first nights, non-refundable room deposit with a major credit card.
  • When making reservations, individuals must identify themselves as a member of the Tribal Assistance Coordination Group to receive the group rate.

Reserve your Room:

Call the Resort directly at (602) 273-7778 , or reserve online through the Crowne Plaza Hotel & Resort Room Reservations

Registration

There is no cost to register; however, tickets are required to reserve your seat.

Conference Agenda

May 6, 2024
8:00 AM
Coffee and Conversation
Join us for introductions and coffee! We look forward to seeing you!

Additional Information

Contact Us

Office of Emergency Management
Stewart Lee Udall Department of Interior Building 1849 C Street, NW, Suite #4624
Washington, DC 20240
Open 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday.

Answer

What is the Snyder Act of 1921 and who does it apply to?

The Snyder Act of 1921 authorizes Indian Affairs to operate programs for the benefit and assistance of American Indians and Alaska Natives throughout the United States. The Act is one of several legislative reforms that was designed to improve the living conditions for American Indians on reservations and in government boarding schools.

TAC-G History

Born out of necessity after significant coordination and communication issues during response and recovery efforts during Hurricane Katrina (2005), the BIA, the Indian Health Service (IHS), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) formed the Tribal Assistance Coordination Group (TAC-G). Its initial focus was to help insure close and consistent coordination and communication between these three critical partners assisting Tribes impacted by emergencies and disasters.

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