Artman acknowledges Indian preference ruling

A court ruling has expanded the Indian preference policy at the Interior Department but assistant secretary Carl Artman says the decision won't have an impact on current positions.

On March 31, a federal judge said Interior was violating the Indian Reorganization Act by limiting Indian preference to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Chief Judge Thomas F. Hogan in Washington, D.C., said the law applies to "all" positions at the department that deal with Indian affairs.

"This is a broader application of Indian Preference than is currently being made by the Department," Artman said in an email to employees.

But Artman said non-Indians who are in positions that "might now be subject to Indian Preference" won't be affected by the ruling. He said any change in hiring "will be applied prospectively only."

The case was filed by the Indian Educators Federation union. Darrell Bradley, a BIA employee, discussed the case on Native America Calling yesterday.

Court Decision:
Indian Educators Federation v. Kempthorne (March 31, 2008)

Court Documents:
Amended Complaint | IEN Motion for Summary Judgment | US Motion Summary Judgment/Motion to Dismiss | IEN Response | US Reply

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