The California Valley Miwok Tribe located at 10601 Escondido Pl., Stockton, CA 95212 (as listed in the federal register). The California Valley Miwok Tribe sent its Chairperson, Silvia Burley and Vice Chairperson, Anjelica Paulk to Sacramento, CA on July 29th, 2010 to attend two federal government-to-government consultation meetings, in which it had earlier been invited to attend. The Tribe was also accompanied by attorney Richard Armstrong of Rosette & Associates, PC, whom attended in the interests of their many California tribal clients, including, the California Valley Miwok Tribe.
The first meeting was for the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC). This was a regional government-to-government consultation meeting that was on this occasion held at Thunder Valley. NIGC is conducting a series of consultation meetings throughout the United States, and although the California Valley Miwok Tribe is a non-gaming tribe, it sent representation to better understand if anything would be discussed that may impact a Custom and Tradition non-gaming tribe.
The second meeting was for consultation on a previous document that was sent to all federally recognized tribes within California requesting recommendations on whom the tribes felt was most qualified to fill the position of BIA Pacific Regional Director. The BIA is asking recognized tribes and their representatives to give comments and address concerns over whom the tribes are hopeful that will eventually fill this very important position. The meeting was hosted by the Department of the Interior/BIA and moderated by Michael R. Smith, Deputy Bureau Director, Field Operations. Newly appointed BIA Director, Michael S. Black was scheduled to participate but was unable to attend.
This consultation with Indian tribes was to better gauge the support for the various candidates and the BIA stated that the tribes opinions would be taken into consideration in deciding the appointment. There are twelve Regional Directors nationally, which Mr. Smith has oversight and recently these directors have been given more authority (making the placement of the right individual all the more important to the California tribes). Chairperson Burley asked on behalf of the tribes for a copy of the newly expanded authorities of Regional Directors. Mr. Smith stated he would get copies out to the tribes. Mr. Smith then explained the process of the selection. The vacancy was created when Mr. Dale Morris stepped down and is only temporarily being filled.
Tribes spoke of whom they supported. The California Valley Miwok Tribe and the Yurok Tribe both gave their support for candidate Kevin Bearquiver. Chairperson Burley asked Mr. Smith of Assistant Secretary Larry EchoHawk’s involvement in the process. Mr. Smith alluded to the fact that a candidate with the highest number of supporters may be given more consideration. California Association of Tribal Governments (CATG) Executive Director, Willie Macklin asked that the DOI/BIA give full support to whom-ever fills the position and give them the authority to do whatever the job requires. Mr. Macklin also stated for the record, as of the 2008 census survey, there are 750,000 American Indians residing within California. Mr. Smith also directed attendees to the BIA website and the DM 1-30 Department manual Delegation of Authority. Chairperson Burley also asked, “What is the timeline before a new Pacific Regional Director is appointed?”. Mr. Smith answered, “By the third week of August, at the latest”. The floor was then opened for comments and concerns on this consultation and other issues.