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Senate panel to hold hearing on BIA reorganization
Thursday, February 26, 2004

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will hold a hearing March 10 on the reorganization of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and expansion of the Office of Special Trustee.

Tribal leaders have been pressing members of Congress to delay changes at the Department of Interior. They say the reorganization will create more bureaucracy without addressing core trust reform problems.

Harold Frazier, chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of South Dakota and president of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Association, is tentatively scheduled to testify at the hearing. He gave an update on the reorganization at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) winter session on Tuesday and called it "a waste of money and resources."

Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) yesterday said he looked forward to hearing from Frazier at the hearing. "It is critical that the Department of the Interior work with tribal members to ensure that our trust reform plans are fair and just," he said.

The witness list is still being finalized but BIA officials said they didn't know whether Dave Anderson, the new assistant secretary, would testify. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.), chairman of the committee, criticized Anderson for not appearing at a hearing on the federal budget yesterday.

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice - http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/cobell/index.htm
Indian Trust, Department of Interior - http://www.doi.gov/indiantrust

Related Stories:
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Fate of Indian preference in hands of Swimmer (02/04)
NCAI president uses speech to lobby for funding (01/22)
A wish list, and resolutions, for Dave Anderson (12/11)
Anderson finally receives nod to take over BIA (12/10)
Swimmer says reorganization is about 'simplicity' (12/05)
DOI holding 'to-be' meetings on trust reform (12/03)
Editorial: Reform DOI, not the trust responsibility (11/26)
Tribes still frustrated on trust reform (11/20)
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