Tribal leaders challenging Norton
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Tribal leaders attending the National Congress of American Indians in Spokane, Washington, have been voicing criticism about a proposed reorganization of the Bureau of Indian Afffairs.

Included among the opponents is Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. He said no tribe in his state wants to see the overhaul occur.

According to The Las Vegas Review-Journal, Secretary Gale Norton has told a BIA employee union that the reorganization would take 30 days. That is consistent with a Federal Register notice published yesterday that cuts off comments by January 15, 2002.

Debate over plan is expected to get heated today as Assistant Secretary Neal McCaleb and Deputy Secretary J. Steven Griles present the plan for the first time to a large audience. The presentation is set from 10:30 a.m. to noon with a follow-up from 2:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Keith Harper, the Native American Rights Fund attorney with the lawsuit on individual Indian trust assets, has been discussing the case at NCAI. He held a session yesterday and will speak prior to the Interior presentation, starting at 10:05 a.m.

Get the Story:
INDIAN TRUST FUNDS: Official defends reform plan (The Las Vegas Review-Journal 11/28)
Interior Department to get earful from tribes (The Spokesman Review 11/28)
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Today on Indianz.Com:
Norton sees GOP support on overhaul (11/28)
Norton wants to cut Interior jobs (11/28)

Relevant Links:
Office of the Special Trustee -
Trust Management Improvement Project -
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton -

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