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Special Trustee Vince Logan to meet with advisory board in DC

Special Trustee Vince Logan speaks at the National Congress of American Indians annual convention in San Diego, California, on October 22, 2015. Photo by Andrew Bahl for Indianz.Com

The Special Trustee Advisory Board will meet in Washington, D.C., this week.

Vince Logan, the new head of the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians, revived the board earlier this year after picking nine new members. They will gather on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of their efforts to reform the way the Interior Department manages the trust assets of tribes and individual Indians.

“These meetings have proven invaluable to helping us take develop concrete strategies to meet our goals,” said Logan, a member of the Osage Nation. “I look forward to seeing the board and hearing their counsel.”

Congress authorized the board through the American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act of 1994. It ran into controversy after Congress ordered DOI to fire its members, some of whom had been critical of the Bush administration's handling of the Cobell trust fund lawsuit and other trust matters. The late Elouise Cobell, who was the lead plaintiff in the case, was among those removed from the board.

Former special trustee Ross Swimmer named a new board in 2004 but it never really recovered from the intervention for the rest of the Bush era.

Logan, who was confirmed by the Senate in June 2014, changed course and sought nominations last December. He announced the members in July and they held their first meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in August.

“After meeting with Indian Country leaders at various events and speaking to my Trust Officers in the field, I have a lot of input to share with the board,” Logan said. “The attitude towards the board in Indian Country is positive and that will only help us move forward with our initiatives.”

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