Special Trustee Vince Logan hosts open house for 20th birthday

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 Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians is marking a major milestone this week.

The American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act became law in October 1994 but the agency didn't officially get off the ground until it was established by the Interior Department in February 1996. Special Trustee Vince Logan is hosting an open house in Washington, D.C., on Thursday in honor of the occasion.

“I’m looking forward to meeting beneficiaries from the DC area and finding out how we can improve our service,” said Logan, a member of the Osage Nation. “OST has come a long way in improving the trust relationship in the 20 years that we’ve been in existence, but there’s always room for progress.”

Logan and other OST employees will be on hand to answer questions and talk more about the services available to Indian beneficiaries in the D.C. and Mid-Atlantic area. Deputy Secretary Michael Connor will provide some opening remarks.

A flyer for the OST 20 Years of Trust open house on March 17, 2016. Image from Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians / Facebook

“This event will enable us to engage face to face with our beneficiaries, to hear their issues and concerns, and to increase awareness of the services we provide,” Logan said.

The 1994 law envisioned OST as the overseer of trust reform efforts at DOI. Its mission dramatically expanded in scope during the Bush administration, prompting complaints from tribes who said the Bureau of Indian Affairs was losing resources.

Tribes are now supporting H.R.812, the Indian Trust Asset Reform Act, a bill that would prepare for the transfer of OST's functions back to the BIA. The House passed the bill on February 24 and it awaits action in in the Senate.

The Obama administration does not support the measure.

OST's open house takes place from 10am to 2pm at the South Interior Building Auditorium, 1925 Constitution Avenue NW.

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