FROM THE ARCHIVE

DOI changes mind on task force meeting

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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2002

The Department of Interior has dropped efforts to close next week's task force meeting on trust reform.

Assistant Secretary Neal McCaleb had told tribal leaders that he wanted to restrict attendance to those who sat on the task force. His decision would have prevented tribes from bringing their attorneys, staff members and others to the meeting. McCaleb also wanted to keep out a court investigator for the Indian trust fund lawsuit and attorneys representing the Indian plaintiffs in the case, tribal leaders said.

But tribal complaints prompted the shift in position. Tribes agreed during a conference call yesterday morning not to stage a boycott.

The meeting is being held in Washington, D.C., on Monday and Tuesday. There will be a tribal caucus on Tuesday.

Tribes plan to discuss the proposed reorganization of the Bureau of Indian Affairs that was announced last week by McCaleb. They are also looking to discuss ways to continue consultation with the Bush administration on a number of issues, not just trust reform.

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust, Department of Interior - http://www.doi.gov/indiantrust
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice - http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/cobell/index.htm
Trust Reform, NCAI - http://www.ncai.org/main/pages/
issues/other_issues/trust_reform.asp

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