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
The University of Tulsa College of Law - Master's in Indian Law
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:
Supreme Court deals setback to tribes in labor sovereignty dispute (6/27)
Shinnecock Nation hits the end of the line with ancestral land claim (6/27)
Supreme Court won't hear Pauma Band compact negotiation case (6/27)
Native Sun News: Rebuilding the Lakota Nation through education (6/27)
Clara Caufield: Out fishing on the Upper Boulder River in Montana (6/27)
Anonymous: Fighting back against victimization in Indian Country (6/27)
Michael Sandoval: San Felipe Pueblo respects rights of neighbors (6/27)
Andre Cramblit: Fond memories of growing up with Muhammad Ali (6/27)
Linda Greenhouse: Supreme Court goes silent in high-profile case (6/27)
Omaha Tribe cooperates with federal investigation into payments (6/27)
Northwest tribes take a stand against oil terminal in Washington (6/27)
Indigenous Digital Archive Project wins grant for online database (6/27)
Donald Trump fares poorly against Hillary Clinton in national poll (6/27)
Kootenai Tribe hopes to lure Canadian customers back to casino (6/27)
Tribes rest easy as Supreme Court wraps up a surprising session (6/24)
Tribes in northern California take action to protect salmon runs (6/24)
Aaron Payment re-elected as chairman of Sault Ste. Marie Tribe (6/24)
Gun Lake Tribe hosts annual Sweet Grass Moon Powwow in July (6/24)
Native Sun News: First Native hockey referee 'Butchy' passes on (6/24)
Delphine Red Shirt: Lakota people denied voting rights on our land (6/24)
Ruth Hopkins: Saving sacred Bear Butte from a massive biker bar (6/24)
Terese Mailhot: Becoming a better ally after the Orlando shooting (6/24)
April Youpee-Roll: Elizabeth Warren owes more to Indian Country (6/24)
Another land-into-trust fix reportedly being drafted in the Senate (6/24)
Federal charges filed in kidnapping of girl on Fort Peck Reservation (6/24)
Non-Indian charged for trespassing at Nambe Pueblo in New Mexico (6/24)
St. Croix Chippewa Tribe warned not to launch marijuana operation (6/24)
Eastern Shawnee Tribe breaks ground on $34M expansion at casino (6/24)
Non-Indian gaming firm loses challenge to law for new tribal casino (6/24)
Grand Ronde Tribes to finish demolition work at site of old racetrack (6/24)
Supreme Court deadlocks in closely-watched tribal jurisdiction case (6/23)
Matthew Fletcher: 'Huge win' for Mississippi Choctaw court system (6/23)
Native American Basketball Invitational draws top talent to Arizona (6/23)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe almost done with long-awaited theater (6/23)
Susanville Rancheria thanks lawmakers for help with land-into-trust (6/23)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs schedules hearing on three bills (6/23)
Supreme Court backs affirmative action policy in long-running case (6/23)
Native Sun News: Senate committee takes on Indian Health Service (6/23)
Mark Trahant: A Republican plan to terminate Indian Health Service (6/23)
James Giago Davies: Welfare for corporations but nothing for tribes (6/23)
Peter d'Errico: Justice Clarence Thomas critiques federal Indian law (6/23)
Two charged for beating and setting woman from Crow Tribe on fire (6/23)
White House defends fracking regulation imposed on Indian lands (6/23)
Mescalero Apache woman hosts fundraiser for Miss United States (6/23)
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.