FROM THE ARCHIVE
Norton set for first consultation
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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2001

Secretary of Interior Gale Norton is in Albuquerque, New Mexico, today to participate in her first formal consultation session with tribes.

Norton, Assistant Secretary Neal McCaleb, Office of Trust Transition Director Ross Swimmer and Special Trustee Tom Slonaker are hosting the all-day session to discuss a reorganization of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. To correct more than 100 years of financial mismanagement of tribal and individual Indian trusts, the Bush administration has proposed stripping the BIA of its core duties and handing them to a new agency.

Tribal leaders throughout the nation oppose the idea. They want reform but they want to be included in discussions from the start, not told about a proposal and then asked to respond.

The National Congress of American Indians, the largest tribal organization, is opposing the reorganization. In New Mexico, the All Indian Pueblo Council and the Eight Northern Indian Pueblo Council are against the plan as well.

The meeting will last all day. A federal judge overseeing the Individual Indian Money (IIM) trust last night prohibited any government attorney who is subject to a pending contempt citation from participating in the consultation process.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth made his order because he was worried that attorneys who participated in a Clinton administration consultation process about the trust fund could face ethical questions. That process turned out to be a sham, court monitor Joseph S. Kieffer III said in a report.

Tommy Thompson, the chief aide to Slonaker, is set to take the stand again today in a contempt trial against Norton and McCaleb.

Get the Story:
Tribes want trust fund finally fixed (The Lincoln Journal Star 12/13)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust, Department of Interior - http://indiantrust.doi.gov
Office of the Special Trustee - http://www.ost.doi.gov
Trust Management Improvement Project - http://www.doi.gov/bia/trust/tmip.htm
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com

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Exclusive: Trust reform assessment (12/12)
Lamberth pokes fun at government (12/12)
Attorneys barred from BITAM consultation (12/12)
EDS trust reform report online (12/12)
Coverage of Contempt Trial, Day 2 (12/12)
Editorial: Still ripping off Indians (12/12)
Contempt trial continues (12/11)
Contested reports focus of contempt trial (12/11)
The Trial: Witnesses to Contempt (12/11)
Coverage of Contempt Trial, Day 1 (12/11)
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Editorial: Take criminal steps on trust fund (12/11)
NPR covers BIA overhaul, trust fund (12/11)
Norton contempt trial opens (12/10)
Norton attacks court monitor (12/10)
Norton set for contempt trial (12/10)
Indian panel urging BITAM slow down (12/10)
Editorial: Appoint IIM receiver (12/10)
Floods more important than Indians (12/10)
Norton contempt trial opens (12/10)
Norton attacks court monitor (12/10)
Norton set for contempt trial (12/10)
Indian panel urging BITAM slow down (12/10)
Editorial: Appoint IIM receiver (12/10)
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