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October 24, 2011

Edith Blackwell Thanks Herself For Helping Indian Country

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Scarecrow and Mrs. King Edith Blackwell, everyone's favorite Indian law attorney, has left the building. We know -- you're all very, very sad.

To get you over this earth shattering news, In The Hoop is running her goodbye letter in full. She had a going away party at 1849 C Street NW on Friday but kept the invite list rather short so bask her in self-congratulatory glow below:
I could not depart without acknowledging all the fine people I have had the pleasure of working with here in the Solicitor’s Office. Many of you have sent me warm and touching farewells – thank you for your kind words. The last fourteen years in the Solicitor’s office has indeed been interesting for me. As I reflect back, my memories go to the fine people I have had the privilege to get to know and work with.

Most recently, I have worked with the fine attorneys in the Indian Trust Litigation Office. Most of you don’t get the opportunity to work with these attorneys but I have had the honor of working with them for the last five months. They are dedicated, smart, and creative attorneys doing great work representing the United States. It has also been my pleasure and honor to work with the attorneys in the Division of Indian Affairs. These attorneys are hard working and dedicated to Indian law. They handle a large amount of work in a high-profile and complex area. They zealously represent their client, the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs, the Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Director of the Bureau of Indian Education, the Special Trustee and all the fine career staff in those offices. They do this with dignity and respect. I would be extremely remiss if I did not say what a pleasure it has been to work with the Regional and Field attorneys that practice Indian law. I have learned a lot from you all. You are dedicated and smart attorneys. Together with the HQ attorneys, we have build what I think is the finest Indian law practice anywhere and second to none.

I think the Indian law bar here at SOL has had many great accomplishments and we have worked together to improve Indian Country. In addition to the legal work, I am also very proud of the first (and only) SOL Indian law conference we had in 2008. In New Orleans, between two hurricanes, we gathered in one place the federal attorneys in the Solicitors Office, DOJ, HUD, HHS, EPA and USDA who practice Indian law. We were able to share ideas, knowledge, and friendship. Thanks.

I also want to thank the fine administrative and support people here in SOL. You all work tirelessly to keep this place going. A special thanks to Marigrace without whom none of us would make it through a week.

I am off to start a new phase of my career. It has been a good run but it is time for me to try my hand with new issues. Thanks for all you have given me during my time here at DOI.


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