Tribes wary of Kempthorne, Interior nominee

Tribal leaders are expressing caution about Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne (R), President Bush's nominee for Interior Secretary.

John Guevremont, the chief operating officer and director of government affairs for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation of Connecticut, doesn't know Kempthorne personally but said the nominee is aware of tribal issues. "He has several tribes in his state, and he has been generally well-regarded as a concerned governor for the welfare of the entire state and the tribes as well," Guevremont, a Republican, told The New London Day.

Keller George, the president of the United South and Eastern Tribes, said he doesn't know much about Kempthorne. But he said he hoped Kempthorne would make land-into-trust, federal recognition and settlement of Cobell v. Norton top priorities.

Kempthorne has served as governor of Idaho since 1999. He has worked with tribes on gaming compacts, natural resources management and water rights. From 1993-1993, he served in the U.S. Senate.

Get the Story:
Idaho governor picked as next interior secretary (The Native American Times 3/17)
Bush picks Kempthorne for Interior (Indian Country Today 3/17)
Tribes Hope Nominee Will Act In Their Best Interest (The New London Day 3/18)
Pick for Interior Said to Show More Charm Than Substance (The Los Angeles Times 3/19)

White House Announcement:
President Bush Nominates Dirk Kempthorne as Interior Secretary (March 16, 2006)

Relevant Links:
Coeur d'Alene Tribe - http://www.cdatribe.com
Nez Perce Tribe - http://www.nezperce.org
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes - http://www.shoshonebannocktribes.com
Gov. Dirk Kempthorne - http://gov.idaho.gov

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