President Obama Announces 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference

WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, December 3, President Obama will host the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC. The conference will provide leaders from the 566 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and members of the White House Council on Native American Affairs. Each federally recognized tribe will be invited to send one representative to the conference. This will be the sixth White House Tribal Nations Conference for the Obama Administration, and continues to build upon the President’s commitment to strengthen the government-to-government relationship with Indian Country and to improve the lives of Native Americans. Additional details about the conference will be released at a later date

Navajo Nation Council’s Naabik’iyátí’ Committee Endorses Fred DuVal for Governor

Phoenix, AZ — The Navajo Nation Council’s Naabik’iyátí’ Committee endorsed business and education leader Fred DuVal for Arizona governor.

Council Delegate Jonathan Nez (Shonto, Olijato, Navajo Mountain, Ts’ah Bii Kin), who sponsored the legislation, stated that endorsing DuVal would benefit the Navajo Nation.

“Fred DuVal has made multiple visits to our homelands over the years and has delivered meaningful results for our communities,” said Delegate Nez. “Fred DuVal has built meaningful relationships with many of our community members. That means something to our people who look for confidence in elected officials. That is why I support Fred DuVal and urge folks to vote for him this general election.”

“I’m grateful that the Navajo Nation has endorsed me as the only leader in this race to serve as Governor of Arizona,” said DuVal. “Throughout my career in public service, I have maintained a close relationship with the Navajo Nation, its leaders, and its many communities. We share a common goal to improve education, create good jobs, and increase opportunity for all people. When I become Arizona’s next governor, we will achieve these goals side by side.

Fred DuVal is meeting with the Navajo Nation Council in Window Rock today and attending a Get Out The Vote rally in St. Michaels with Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick this afternoon

Nearly 2,800 Landowners with Fractional Interests at Lake Traverse Indian Reservation Receive $63.5 Million in Purchase Offers through Interior’s Land Buy-Back Program

Participants in Voluntary Land Buy-Back Program Have 45 Days to Respond

WASHINGTON, DC – Building off of sustained momentum from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program), Deputy Secretary Mike Connor today announced that purchase offers worth more than $63.5 million have been sent to nearly 2,800 landowners with fractional interests on the Lake Traverse Indian Reservation in South Dakota (homeland of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate). Interested sellers willhave until November 24, 2014, to return accepted offers.

The tribe will host an outreach event on Wednesday, October 15 at the Tribal Elderly Center in Agency Village, S.D. The all-day event will feature speakers from the Buy-Back Program and staff available to help landowners with questions about their offer packages. Landowners can contact the tribe’s staff at: 605-698-8296 or 605-698-8203.

As part of President Obama’s pledge to help strengthen Native American communities, the Buy-Back Program has successfully concluded transactions worth more than $146.4 million and has restored the equivalent of more than 280,000 acres of land to tribal governments.

?“The Buy-Back Program is a unique opportunity and I am encouraged by the growing interest we are seeing in the Program across Indian Country as well as the partnerships we are developing with tribal governments as implementation moves to each location,” said Deputy Secretary Connor. “Payments through Program sales are already making a significant difference for individuals, families and their communities. We will continue to work closely with tribal representatives to ensure that individuals are aware of this historic opportunity.”

The Buy-Back Program implements the land consolidation component of the Cobell Settlement, which provided $1.9 billion to purchase fractional interests in trust or restricted land from willing sellers at fair market value within a 10-year period. Individuals who choose to sell their interests receive payments directly into their Individual Indian Money (IIM) accounts. In addition to receiving fair market value for their land based on objective appraisals, sellers also receive a base payment of $75 per offer, regardless of the value of the land.

Consolidated interests are immediately restored to tribal trust ownership for uses benefiting the reservation community and tribal members. For example, the Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Reservation recently announced that the tribe is embarking on a $9 million housing program, aided by the recent acquisition of land through the Buy-Back Program.

Sales of land interests will also result in up to $60 million in contributions to the Cobell Education Scholarship Fund. This contribution is in addition to the amounts paid to individual sellers, so it will not reduce the amount landowners receive for their interests.

There are almost 245,000 owners of nearly three million fractional interests, spanning 150 Indian reservations, who are eligible to participate in the Buy-Back Program. Many see little or no economic benefit from what are often very small, undivided interests in lands that cannot be utilized due to their highly fractionated state.

Offers are currently pending at a number of additional locations with deadlines approaching soon, including the Gila River (TODAY), Northern Cheyenne (Oct. 17), Flathead (Oct. 24), Umatilla (Oct. 31) and Crow (Nov. 21) Indian Reservations.

Landowners can contact the Trust Beneficiary Call Center at 888-678-6836 with questions about their purchase offers. Individuals can also visit their local Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST) or Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) office, or find more information at www.doi.gov/buybackprogram/landowners in order to make informed decisions about their land.

Individual participation is voluntary. A decision to sell land for restoration to tribes does not impact a landowner’s eligibility to receive individual settlement payments from the Cobell Settlement, which are being handled by the Garden City Group. Inquiries regarding Settlement payments should be directed to 800-961-6109.

NAU: Part-time Position Announcement

Northern Arizona University’s Extended Campuses is seeking a part-time Student Support Coach for the Smart Start Program.  This person should be a dynamic, student-centered individual interested and committed in helping students prepare and succeed in an online environment.  The selected candidate will work closely with students to assess their readiness for online learning, and then help them to strengthen their skills, in preparation and ultimately transition to NAU – EC’s online campus.  Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree and 2 years experience working in a higher education setting or high school counseling position and/or any equivalent combination of education and experience.

Interested applications should submit a cover letter, resume and three letters of recommendation to Kathleen.Burdick@nau.eduNAU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.