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
Health Coverage for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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:
Gathering scheduled in June at site of former BIA insane asylum (4/29)
Native Sun News: Tribal college student overcomes challenges (4/29)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Ancestors are gone but language lives on (4/29)
Mike Rounds: Eliminate 'hateful' and 'paternalistic' federal laws (4/29)
Harlan McKosato: White privilege fuels Donald Trump's fanbase (4/29)
Indian Health Service faulted for lengthy waits for patient care (4/29)
Mescalero Apache woman to compete for Miss United States (4/29)
Environmental Protection Agency pays little to tribes for spill (4/29)
Measure to declare bison as official mammal ready for Obama (4/29)
John Wayne's negative views about tribes resurface in debate (4/29)
Chumash Tribe picks Kenneth Kahn as first new leader in years (4/29)
Mille Lacs Band announces upgrades as casino marks 25 years (4/29)
Timbisha Shoshone Tribe sees warmer reception to casino bid (4/29)
Florida racks up legal bills in gaming fight with Seminole Tribe (4/29)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe sues Indian Health Service over shutdown (4/28)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee approves eight bills at meeting (4/28)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux Tribe to debut justice center (4/28)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne official fired from tribal job (4/28)
Native Sun News: Comments sought on Black Hills mine cleanup (4/28)
Editorial: Native Sun News endorses Hillary Clinton for president (4/28)
Cronkite News: EPA slammed for response to Gold King Mine spill (4/28)
Steve Russell: Donald Trump advisor accuses tribes of terror plot (4/28)
Alex Jacobs: Hillary Clinton must answer to role in Honduras coup (4/28)
Northwest tribes inch closer to reburial of Kennewick Man remains (4/28)
Santee Sioux Tribe hosts task force to address substance abuse (4/28)
Huge crowds flock to New Mexico for annual Gathering of Nations (4/28)
Muckleshoot Tribe to host $50K 'Gold Cup' for Indian relay racing (4/28)
Member of Puyallup Tribe develops 'Teepee' tribal directory app (4/28)
Man in long fight with Shingle Springs Band faces longer sentence (4/28)
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe enters gaming agreement with Mohegan Tribe (4/28)
Timbisha Shoshone Tribe sees casino as a path to self-sufficiency (4/28)
Forest County Potawatomi Tribe announces another hire at casino (4/28)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe welcomes rejection of rival casino bid (4/28)
Senate passes measure to include Indian Country in tourism plans (4/27)
Amanda Blackhorse to deliver commencement speech at Haskell (4/27)
Native Sun News: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe aims to stop pipeline (4/27)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge artist gains national recognition (4/27)
Brandon Ecoffey: 'Bull Dawg' represents the Oglala Lakota Nation (4/27)
Mark Trahant: Tribes endorse Native candidates for US Congress (4/27)
John Thune: Tribal citizens suffer with Indian Health Service care (4/27)
Cronkite News: Tribes support more protections at Grand Canyon (4/27)
Gabe Galanda: A moral responsibility to stop tribal disenrollment (4/27)
Vernice Moncooyea Willis: Bernie Sanders deserves our support (4/27)
Jennifer Denetdale: University must stop celebrating genocide (4/27)
Eastern Cherokee group hails Tribal Marijuana Sovereignty Act (4/27)
Leader of Fort Peck Tribes blames baby's death on drug abuse (4/27)
Chippewa Cree Tribe and FBI investigate theft of drugs at clinic (4/27)
Former comptroller of Crow Tribe accused of embezzling $28K (4/27)
Congress set to pass bill to declare bison as national mammal (4/27)
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton moving closer to nominations (4/27)
Fond du Lac Band won't confirm plan for site adjacent to casino (4/27)
Graton Rancheria on track to complete $175M casino expansion (4/27)
Pokagon Band to debut casino expansion project by end of year (4/27)
Connecticut tribes delay decision on potential casino until 2017 (4/27)
Oregon Lottery official fired as Lewis and Clark ads come down (4/27)
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.