N.D. tribal leader seeks to stop 'runaway train'
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Saying he and other tribal leaders only heard about the reorganization through news reports, the chairman of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota on Friday denounced Secretary of Interior Gale Norton's proposal to strip the Bureau of Indian Affairs of its trust duties.

"It is our money, our land, and our minerals; yet Secretary Norton has gone ahead and made critical decisions about our trust assets without ever consulting with us," said Tex Hall. "She has violated the basic requirements of a trustee and has totally ignored the government-to-government relationship that should guide the way tribes and the United States work together"

Hall said he has already begun work to stop Norton's "runaway train." He said he and other tribal leaders are asking Congressional allies to help them prevent her from giving the BIA's responsibilities to an "unnamed bureaucrat."

Hall is running for president of the National Congress of American Indians. Deputy Interior Secretary J. Steven Griles, whose work on trust reform was responsible for the proposal, and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Neal McCaleb will speak at NCAI's annual convention later this month.

More on the Reorganization:
Norton stripping BIA of trust duties (11/16)
Tribal leaders in uproar over proposal (11/16)
Top Democrat calls for hearings (11/16)
Bush officials to speak at NCAI (11/16)
Norton files contempt defense (11/16)
Q&A on BIA Reorganization (11/16)
BIA plan called 'desperate' (11/16)
Developing: BIA stripped of trust duties (11/15)
Interior might need year on new agency (11/15)
Gover: Indian Country now 'weaker' (11/15)

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