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Politics
Oklahoma tribal leaders sad to see Norton leave


Leaders of two Oklahoma tribes praised Interior Secretary Gale Norton for her five years at the Interior Department.

Choctaw Nation Chief Greg Pyle said Norton was "extremely hard-working" and "very honest." He said she felt frustrated by the Cobell v. Norton trust fund lawsuit "because she was going into court where people in the past had failed to do their job."

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith said Norton has been "cordial, even-handed and fair to Indian Country." The Oklahoman didn't expand on Smith's remarks.

Three Oklahomans hold top jobs at Interior. Ross Swimmer, Cherokee, is Special Trustee; Pat Ragsdale, Cherokee, is director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs; and Chris Cheney, Seneca-Cayuga, is head of law enforcement at the BIA.

Get the Story:
Interior secretary will exit office: Oklahoma ties (The Oklahoman 3/11)
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Resignation Letter:
Norton to Bush (March 9, 2006)

News Release:
Secretary Norton Announces Departure from Interior (DOI 3/10)

Relevant Links:
Interior Department - http://www.doi.gov

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