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Swimmer names members of Special Trustee board
Friday, February 6, 2004

Special Trustee Ross Swimmer announced the members of his advisory board on Thursday.

Four of the nine members are from Oklahoma, Swimmer's home state. They are: Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby; Osage Nation Chief Jim Gray; Bobby Brooks of the Bank of Oklahoma; and Edward Holland, a member of the Cherokee Nation and president of the Choctaw Capital Company.

Other Indian representatives include D. Fred Matt, chairman of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of Montana; Richard Milanovich, chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians; Loren "Bat" Pourier, an Oglala Sioux tribal member who owns a gas station that successfully challenged a state tax; and Helen Sanders, a member of the Quinault Nation of Washington who chairs the Allotees Association on the reservation.

The final board member is David English, a law professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia

Swimmer had hoped to name his board several months ago but needed to fill one more slot. He wanted to wait until he could announce all nine members.

A provision in the Department of Interior's 2003 appropriations act ordered the naming of a new advisory board. The rider ousted several prominent Indian leaders, including Elouise Cobell of the Blackfeet Nation of Montana, Sue Masten of the Yurok Tribe of California, Ivan Makil of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Tribe of Arizona and Ed Thomas of the Tlingit-Haida Tribe of Alaska.

Swimmer's predecessor, Tom Slonaker, testified that he opposed the rider. Shortly after, he was fired by Secretary Gale Norton.

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com
Office of Special Trustee - http://www.ost.doi.gov

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