Tribal Leaders, Your Feedback is Critical on Proposed Department of Interior Reorganization

  |  June 21, 2018

On March 13, 2017, President Trump signed Executive Order 13781, calling on Federal agencies to examine ways they could reorganize to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability.

In response, Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke announced his vision to divide the United States into 13 regions and centralize authority for different parts of Interior within those boundaries. The regions would be defined by watersheds and geographic basins, rather than individual states and the current boundaries that now guide Interior’s operations.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) regions and functions will be included in this potential reorganization. The new structure would be accompanied by a significant shift in the location of the headquarters of major bureaus within the Department of the Interior (DOI), including sending many of BIA’s employees from Washington, DC to locations across the country. Moving these employees would require congressional authorization.

BIA’s Navajo region – which encompasses an entire reservation – would be split into two regions, possibly three, as part of the reorganization. The Great Plains region, currently run out of an office in South Dakota, would get larger under the plan, with some tribes from Kansas, Minnesota, and Wyoming potentially shifted there.

The DOI has scheduled a formal consultation period and is inviting tribal leaders to attend one of the following sessions listed in the table below. The sessions will include a presentation and maps of the proposed regions; these are available at the BIA website.

If you would prefer to submit comments in writing, please e-mail your input to consultation@bia.gov by August 15, 2018.

CONSULTATION SESSIONS

**Listening Session**
Sunday, June 3, 2018
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
**Listening Session**
NCAI Mid-Year Conference
Marriott Kansas City Downtown
200 W. 12th Street
Kansas City, MO 64105
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Four Winds-New Buffalo Casino
11111 Wilson Road
New Buffalo, MI 49117
Thursday, June 21, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
BIA Rocky Mountain Regional Office*
2021 4th Avenue, North
Billings, MT 59101
*Please bring photo identification and allow for time to go through Security as this is a Federal facility.
Monday, June 25, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
National Indian Programs Training Center*
1011 Indian School Road, NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104
*Please bring photo identification and allow for time to go through Security as this is a Federal facility.
Thursday, June 28, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort
12222 New York Ranch Road
Jackson, CA 95642
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Morongo Band of Mission Indians Tribal Chambers
12700 Pumarra Road
Banning, CA 92220
Thursday, August 2, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall
320 W. Willoughby Avenue
Juneau, AK 99801
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Embassy Suites Oklahoma City
1815 South Meridian
Oklahoma City, OK 73108
Thursday, August 9, 2018
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Pearl River Resort, Golden Moon Hotel & Casino
13541 Hwy 16 W
Philadelphia, MS 39350

Check the following website for conference room information and updates: https://www.bia.gov/as-ia/raca/doi-reorganization.

Please contact Corrine Wilson if you have questions regarding this proposed reorganization.

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