indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Native American Bank - Native people investing in Native communities
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Campbell warns BIA's Anderson of 'Washington' attitude
Thursday, May 13, 2004

There were no hard feelings on Wednesday as assistant secretary Dave Anderson finally testified before a Senate committee he was earlier accused of avoiding.

Anderson joined the Bush administration in February and has spent most of his time since then on the road, visiting Bureau of Indian Affairs schools and meeting with tribal leaders. The busy schedule left little room for another rather important component of his job -- appearing before Congress.

In this case, it was the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, whose members had quickly endorsed Anderson's nomination way back in October. But Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colorado), the committee's chairman, became somewhat miffed when the new head of the BIA didn't show up for some critical hearings.

"He seems to have taken a hike on us. He's just not around most of the time when he should be," Campbell said last month.

Anderson finally got to account for his whereabouts yesterday. Before the hearing started, he informed Campbell of his Indian Country road trips.

That gave Campbell, who is retiring this year after a storied career in both the House and Senate, a perfect opportunity to quiz Anderson on just exactly what he's been doing for the past three months.

How many tribes have you met, Campbell asked? Oh, about 25, Anderson replied after asking a staff member for a little assistance.

And what have you learned, Campbell wanted to know? Tribes are very concerned about law enforcement and substance abuse, Anderson responded.

At first, the queries appeared to have little relation to the subject of the hearing -- a bill Campbell is sponsoring to expand the successful self-governance program to include more programs.

But as the hearing moved on, it was clear the answers weren't exactly the ones Campbell wanted to hear. To him, they were indicative of the lukewarm reception the Interior Department has given to his proposals, which have significant tribal support.

"As I just go over in my own mind all the bills that we've dealt with to try and help Indian people ... I can't remember a single one, frankly, that the administration -- anybody's administration over the last 12 years I've been here -- has put forth," he said. "Most of the good bills that have come up and gone through the committee have come from Indian people."

"In some cases, we've had to drag along the administration kicking and screaming, when I thought we were all supposed to be in this together," he added. Federal agencies are more concerned about "turf protection" than helping Indian Country, he said.

Campbell also expressed concern that Anderson's "can do" attitude -- which convinced many a senator of his credentials -- wasn't taking ahold.

"When I helped you with your confirmation, I was very impressed with what I thought was [your] real belief in trying to make sure Indian people get a fair shake out of this government," he told Anderson.

Campbell's sentiments prompted Anderson to recite more of that "can do" attitude that has inspired Indian students across the nation. "When I came on board, I came on board with the spirit of heart that I could make a difference," Anderson said.

But it hasn't been exactly smooth sailing, Anderson admitted, without directly mentioning the heat he is taking for removing himself from some of his critical duties. "I will tell you that this has been a real awakening for me," he told Campbell.

Anderson said he into office thinking he would do everything different and make some important changes. But "when you get into it, you find that the bureaucracy is greater than you can imagine," he said.

"Mister Assistant Secretary, Welcome to Washington," Campbell added, with only just a hint of sarcasm.

Anderson had to leave the hearing due to a tight schedule later that day, so Campbell didn't get a chance to ask him about his controversial recusal decision. At the hearing last month, Campbell questioned why Anderson would remove himself from "about half of the responsibilities he was appointed to do."

Campbell said yesterday he still supported Anderson and that he hoped he would continue to seek positive change at the BIA. "I would hope after I'm gone that you're still here," he said.

Politicians from Connecticut who oppose the BIA on a number of fronts want Anderson to resign but he rejected the request last week. "It's an election year. They're entitled to their opinion," he said during commencement exercises at the United Tribes Technical College in North Dakota.

Related Stories:
Editorial: Dave Anderson should work 'full time' (5/11)
BIA's Anderson has Indian Country support (5/10)
Editorial: Anderson should not resign (5/7)
Dodd says Anderson recusal came out of nowhere (5/7)
BIA bashed over federal recognition decisions (5/6)
Dodd calls on Anderson to resign over broad recusal (5/6)
Anderson recused on all federal recognition matters (5/5)
BIA critical of main components of recognition bill (04/22)
Anderson takes message to Indian Country youth (2/18)
Anderson asks for prayers in new job as head of BIA (02/05)
'Famous' Dave Anderson confirmed to head BIA (12/11)
BIA nominee wins endorsement of Senate panel (10/23)
White House acts to fill top BIA leadership post (09/15)
Biography: BIA nominee 'Famous' Dave Anderson (09/15)
Lack of BIA nominee puzzles Indian Country (08/07)

Copyright 2000-2004 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Quinault Nation prepares for journey to Standing Rock encampment (12/2)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Iroquois prophecies warn of grave dangers (12/2)
Brandon Ecoffey: Media gets it wrong on Dakota Access frontlines (12/2)
Bronson Koenig: What I found during my journey to Standing Rock (12/2)
Timothy Egan: Fake cowboys cheered while the real Indians suffer (12/2)
Lakota Country Times: Laced marijuana finds its way to Pine Ridge (12/2)
Native Sun News Today: Owner of Wounded Knee site lowers price (12/2)
David Ganje: An opportunity for tribes to clean up their homelands (12/2)
Mary Annette Pember: Tribal member arrested for string of arsons (12/2)
Tiffany Midge: The women are here and we have a message for you (12/2)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe calls for safety as veterans head to camp (12/1)
North Dakota sheriff scrubs Facebook of incriminating information (12/1)
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp considers role in Donald Trump administration (12/1)
Daniel Brown: Ho-Chunk Nation celebrates a new day in Wisconsin (12/1)
Lakota Country Times: #NoDAPL kitchen in need of more supplies (12/1)
Native Sun News Today: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe summons allies (12/1)
Vi Waln: Sacred fire burns at Oceti Sakowin camp in North Dakota (12/1)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Veterans at Standing Rock for the good fight (12/1)
Native Sun News Today: Duane Big Crow relishes role in coaching (12/1)
Clara Caufield: Community at Northern Cheyenne stays connected (12/1)
Steven Newcomb: A message to the Donald Trump administration (12/1)
Alaska Native designer brings subsistence fashion to new audience (12/1)
Tohono O'odham Nation and state remain at odds in casino dispute (12/1)
United Keetoowah Band won't talk about plans for potential casino (12/1)
Wilton Rancheria continues to face mysterious opposition to casino (12/1)
Non-Indian firm set to open $1.3B casino outside of nation's capital (12/1)
Native youth remain hopeful as nation transitions to new president (11/30)
Sioux Nation to President Obama: Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (11/30)
Mark Trahant: Indian health care at risk with Trump administration (11/30)
Lakota Country Times: Herbalist brings medicine to Standing Rock (11/30)
Dana Lone Hill: A big 'wopila' to all the #NoDAPL water protectors (11/30)
Kelly Hayes: My whole heart is with the #NoDAPL water protectors (11/30)
Large veterans group heads to #NoDAPL frontline in North Dakota (11/30)
Native Sun News Today: Northern Cheyenne college hosts summit (11/30)
James Giago Davies: Mixed-race Indians forced to choose identity (11/30)
Cronkite News: Navajo chef takes helm at NMAI in nation's capitol (11/30)
Billy Stratton: The soldiers who refused the Sand Creek Massacre (11/30)
Gabriel Ray: Scotts Valley Band working to re-establish homeland (11/30)
Steve Russell: Resisting apartheid and genocide in the Trump era (11/30)
Charges filed after two children found malnourished at Pine Ridge (11/30)
Four Alaska Natives dead amid state outbreak of strep bacteria (11/30)
Pokagon Band breaks ground on housing project on Indiana land (11/30)
Ancestral remains found in Washington are about 2300 years old (11/30)
Former casino worker took $23K from Northern Cheyenne Tribe (11/30)
Sheriff hit with lawsuit as governor moves in on #NoDAPL camp (11/29)
Dakota Access Pipeline almost finished except at Lake Oahe site (11/29)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.