Native News Network Staff in Native Currents. Discussion »
BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA Taking its mission seriously, the Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform reached out to Indian country at its fifth public meeting of the year. 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 conference.
Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Tex
Red Tipped Arrow Hall
The day before the meeting the Commission visited the Fort Berthold Reservation, home of the Three Affiliated Tribes, for a facilitated public discussion on trust administration. In addition, an outreach session for youth to offer their ideas, an important part of the Commission's efforts, was held the evening of September 13 at the United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck.
“I have been very gratified at the level of feedback the Secretarial Commission has received to date, and especially at this meeting,”
said Chair Fawn Sharp.
“ All of the ideas, comments, and recommendations are extremely valuable to the Commission's work as it moves forward on accomplishing the mandate established for it by Secretary Salazar.”
“ I want to thank all of those who helped make this meeting so productive, especially United Tribes Technical College President Gipp, the Three Affiliated Tribes, our speakers, and especially the tribal leaders, organizations, students, and members of the public who took the time give us their thoughts on how the Interior Department can and should manage its trust responsibilities,”
The Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform was established by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the Department's management and administration of nearly $4 billion in American Indian trust assets over two years and to offer recommendations on improvements in the future. Building on progress made with the historic Cobell Settlement, the Commission will help to establish a new era of trust administration: one that stresses responsive, accountable, transparent, and customer-friendly management of these substantial funds and assets.
During their visit to the Fort Berthold Reservation, Commission members toured the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Fort Berthold Agency in New Town and inspected one of the Tribes' oil well pads. They were joined by representatives from Interior's Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians, Office of the Solicitor for Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Land Management's Office of Natural Resources Revenue, the Indian Affairs Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development, and Lizzie Marsters, Chief of Staff to Interior Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes and the Designated Federal Officer for the Commission, all of whom also attended the public discussion.
The public discussion, which was moderated by Commission member and Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Hall, focused on the challenges and impacts of the oil and gas leasing boom taking place in western North Dakota.
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posted September 21, 2012 9:30 am edt