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For almost years, dating back to the role it played in negotiating treaty agreements between the United States and tribes in the late 18th and 19th centuries, the BIA has embodied the trust and government-to-government relationships between the U. Over the years, the BIA has been involved in the implementation of Federal laws that have directly affected all Americans. Official websites use.
The Office of Trust Services works with tribes and individual American Indians and Alaska Natives in the management of their trust lands, assets, and resources. Its role now is as a partner with tribes to help them achieve their goals for self-determination while also maintaining its responsibilities under the Federal-Tribal trust and government-to-government relationships.
The BIA has changed dramatically over the past years, evolving as Federal policies deed to subjugate and assimilate American Indians and Alaska Natives have changed to policies that promote Indian self-determination. Inthat function was legislatively transferred to the U. For information about the U. Indian Health Service, visit www.
The Office of Indian Services operates the BIA's general assistance, disaster relief, Indian child welfare, tribal government, Indian Self-Determination, and reservation ro programs. The Office of Justice Services directly operates or funds law enforcement, tribal courts, and detention facilities on Federal Indian lands. The Tribal Self-Governance Act of along with the Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act have fundamentally changed how the Federal Government and the tribes conduct business with each other.
Article I, Section 8, of the U. Constitution describes Congress's powers over Indian affairs: "To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes. Washington, D. Since its inception inthe Bureau of Indian Affairs has been both a witness to and a principal player in the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages.
Calhoun on March 11,to oversee and carry out the Federal government's trade and treaty relations with the tribes. For years thereafter, the Bureau was known variously as the Indian office, the Indian bureau, the Indian department, and the Indian Service. Parker, Seneca ; Robert L. Bennett, Oneida ; Louis R. Hallett, Red Lake Chippewa Inafter a major reorganization of the BIA, the title was administratively changed to "Director," which is still in use today.
Finally, the Office of Field Operations oversees 12 regional offices and 83 agencies which carry out the mission of the Bureau at the tribal level. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is a rarity among Federal agencies.
Then Jerold L. Marie Chippewa served from Gerard, Blackfeet ; Thomas W. Fredericks, Mandan-Hidatsa ; Kenneth L. Smith, Wasco ; Ross O. Swimmer, Cherokee Nation ; Dr. Eddie F. Washburn, Chickasaw Nation The past thirty years have also seen the largest increase in the of American Indian and Alaska Native people working for the BIA.
Currently, most of its employees are American Indian or Alaska Native, representing a larger than at any time in its history. The BIA carries out its core mission to serve Federally recognized tribes through four offices.
Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites. Back to Top. In keeping with the authorities and responsibilities granted under the Snyder Act of and other Federal laws, regulations, and treaties, BIA employees across the country work with tribal governments in the administration of law enforcement and justice; agricultural and economic development; tribal governance; and natural resources management programs in order to enhance the quality of life in tribal communities.
Inthe BIA was transferred to the newly created U. Department of the Interior. History of BIA Since its inception inthe Bureau of Indian Affairs has been both a witness to and a principal player in the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages.