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Indian Affairs head to keynote summit
Tribal Leaders from region meet in Bismarck
11 August 2009

BISMARCK (UTN) - Larry Echo Hawk, the newly appointed Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the U. S. Department of Interior, will keynote the 13th Annual Tribal Leaders Summit set for September 9-10 at the Bismarck Civic Center. The event is hosted by United Tribes Technical College and attended by tribal leaders and other representatives of tribes around the region.

      Echo Hawk is an enrolled member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma. He was sworn in May 22 as the 11th Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs since the position was established by Congress in the 1970s.


Larry Echo Hawk

      Prior to his appointment he served for 14 years as a Professor of Law at Brigham Young University, where he taught Federal Indian law, criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence, criminal trial practice, and published several scholarly papers. He was elected Attorney General of Idaho in 1990. Before that, he was a county prosecutor and he served two consecutive terms in the Idaho House of Representatives.

      Echo Hawk’s keynote talk is scheduled during a noon luncheon on Wednesday, September 9 in the Civic Center Exhibition Hall. The public is invited to attend. A BIA Native American Energy Auditor Certification award ceremony is scheduled to follow his talk.

      Another representative of the Obama Administration is also on the opening day agenda. Jodi Archambault-Gillette, from the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, will present an update on the administration’s stimulus package and other initiatives for Indian Country. Gillette is a member of the Standing Rock Tribe. Her talk is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. on September 9.

      The opening ceremony begins at 8:30 a.m. that day. The conference theme is: “Renewal in Indian Country.”

      Other summit topics include civil rights, voter education, law enforcement, economic development, alternative energy, education, the environment, and Indian gaming. Past meetings have been attended by federal, state and local officials. Tribal leaders from the five tribes located in North Dakota – members of the United Tribes Technical College governing board – will preside over the sessions.

      The summit includes a trade show open to vendors that have an active North Dakota Sales and Use Tax Permit.

      The South African Zulu dance group “Soweto Street Beat,” the featured cultural group of the United Tribes International Powwow, is scheduled to make an appearance during the summit luncheon on Thursday, September 10, along with participants in the Miss Indian Nations Pageant.

      A meeting of the United Tribes of North Dakota board will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 10.

      Those attending the Summit are invited to participate in the First Grand Entry at the United Tribes International Powwow, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 10.

      To see a detailed agenda and to register, visit the United Tribes website: www.uttc.edu, or contact Tiffany Hodge 701-255-3285 x 1482, thodge@uttc.edu. For the trade fair contact Debbie Paint 701-255-3285, x 1232, dpainte@uttc.edu.