Secretary Salazar Stepping Down from Interior Post >>

January 16th, 2013

Secretary Salazar Stepping Down from Interior Post

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that he would be leaving the Department of the Interior after serving 4 years as Secretary. Secretary Salazar will resign his position by the end of March to return to his home in Colorado.

Under Secretary Salazar’s leadership, the Department has made significant progress to ensure that the federal government honors its treaty and trust responsibilities to Indian tribes. He has pro-actively assisted tribes in their efforts to take land into trust so that they can rebuild their communities and protect their homelands. He spearheaded the settlement of the longstanding Cobell lawsuit, guided Interior’s efforts to settle more than 40 similar claims between the United States and Indian tribes, and oversaw a water settlement benefiting pueblos in New Mexico that will build and improve reservation water systems and deliver safe water to them.

Under Secretary Salazar’s helm, the Department issued improved leasing regulations to promote homeownership and economic development as well as energy development on tribal lands, which are goals similar to the HEARTH Act of 2012. Furthermore, Secretary Salazar has forged strong interagency partnerships to help tribes build stronger tribal communities so that they can thrive politically and economically. Interior is working with Departments of Justice and the Health and Human Services to implement the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 and has boosted federal support to combat crime in Indian country. He also helped develop an MOU among five federal agencies to improve federal efforts to protect sacred areas of Indian tribes and collaborated with the Department of Education to prepare the next generation of Indian students to face the challenges of their time by strengthening their educational opportunities.

Finally, Secretary Salazar has played a critical role in the tremendous success of previous White House Tribal Leader Conferences where he joined President Obama, other Cabinet Secretaries, and other senior Administration officials to meet with tribal leaders to discuss Indian Country’s priorities.
Secretary Salazar will leave behind an impressive record that demonstrates Interior’s commitment to forging a stronger relationship with tribal governments. He will be missed by Indian country.

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