May 1, 2009

Interior secretary tours Fort Berthold, meets with TAT Business Council

Interior secretary tours Fort Berthold, meets with TAT Business Council
Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar was in New Town Saturday on the 96th day of the Obama Administration, keeping a campaign promise that a cabinet member would visit an Indian reservation in the first 100 days.
In a tight, two-hour shedule, Salazar toured the Fort Berthold Agency One-Stop Shop and met with the Three Affiliated Tribes Business Council on a number of topics. He spent a few minutes mingling with the crowd at the conclusion of the Tribal Business Council session and was whisked away in a motorcade for a flight to the Great Plains Synfuels plant in Beulah.
Salazar admitted choosing Fort Berthold as his first reservation to visit may have been slightly influenced by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., the chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee. But because Fort Berthold is such a diverse reservation, he thought it appropriate to see it first hand and meet the leadership face to face.
“I made the decision to come to North Dakota because of the issues facing Indian country in North Dakota,” Salazar said. “What we see here is a manifestation of all issues.”
Those issues include energy development, education, health care and law enforcement.
“It’s an honor to be here with you and the chairman,” Salazar told business council members as he sat left of TAT Chairman Marcus Levings in the TAT chambers. “This is a new beginning on how we’ll address issues in Indian country across America.”

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