Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Briefs. Discussion »
WASHINGTON The White House announced this morning Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar well depart the Obama Cabinet at the end of March. This confirms speculation that has been in Washington in recent weeks.
Secretary Ken Salazar at Tribal Nations Conference
“I know Ken well and he wants to get home to be with his family,”
former US Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Northern Cheyenne, said to the Native News Network in Washington last month.
“His family has been requesting he come home.”
Salazar succeeded Campbell in the US Senate representing Colorado after Campbell decided not run for reelection.
“Colorado is and will always be my home. I look forward to returning to my family and Colorado after eight years in Washington DC,”
said Secretary Salazar.
“I am forever grateful to President Obama for his friendship in the US Senate and the opportunity he gave me to serve as a member of his cabinet during this historic presidency.”
Continued Secretary Salazar.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education are housed within the US Department of the Interior. So, the position of secretary for the Interior Department is viewed important to American Indians and Alaska Natives. The White House Tribal Nations Conferences are hosted by Department of the Interior.
Secretary Salazar's term was marked by historic progress for Indian country with the passage of the Cobell settlement that honorably and responsibly addressed long-standing injustices regarding the US government's trust management.
The President also signed into law six Indian water rights settlements, totaling over $1 billion, that will help deliver clean drinking water to tribal communities and provide certainty to water users across the West. Salazar spearheaded a sweeping reform the first in 50 years of federal surface leasing regulations for American Indian lands that will streamline the approval process for home ownership, expedite economic development, and spur renewable energy in Indian country.
“President Obama has made it a priority to empower our nation's first Americans by helping to build stronger, safer and more prosperous tribal communities,”
“This administration has been marked by a renewed commitment to honoring a nation to nation relationship and ensuring tribes have a greater role in federal decisions affecting Indian country.”
Secretary Salazar has helped usher in a new era of conservation to protect America's lands, wildlife, and heritage. Under the banner of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors program, Interior has established ten national wildlife refuges and seven national parks since 2009; established forward-thinking protections for wildlife and preserved millions of acres of land; and implemented community-driven, science-based conservation strategies that take into account entire ecosystems and working landscapes.
“From the Crown of the Continent in Montana to the prairie grasslands of Kansas to the Everglades Headwaters in Florida, we are partnering with landowners, farmers, and ranchers to preserve their way of life and the irreplaceable land and wildlife that together we cherish,”
“We have established an enduring vision for conservation in the 21st century that recognizes all people from all walks of life.”
Under Secretary Salazar's leadership, Interior has played a keystone role in developing a secure energy future for the United States, both for renewable and conventional energy.
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posted January 16, 2013 11:50 am est