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Bureau of Indian Affairs

Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240

202-208-3710
http://www.bia.gov/bia

DIRECTOR * Darryl LaCounte
https://www.bia.gov/as-ia/opa/online-press-release/assistant-secretary-sweeney-names-darryl-lacounte-director-bureau-of-indian-affairs

* The Director reports to the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs.

* The Director reports to the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs enhances the quality of life, promotes economic opportunity, and protects and improves the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives.

ESTABLISHMENT AND ORGANIZATION

Secretary of War John C. Calhoun established the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) on March 11, 1824, to oversee and carry out the Federal Government’s trade and treaty relations with tribes. The BIA remains the oldest Department of the Interior (DOI) agency in continuous existence and one of the oldest in the Federal government. The DOI formally adopted Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) as the agency’s official name on September 17, 1947. Prior to that time, it was referred to as the Indian office, Indian bureau, Indian department, and Indian service.

https://www.doi.gov/blog/193rd-anniversary-bureau-indian-affairs

On March 3, 1849, President James K. Polk approved an act that transferred the "supervisory and appellate powers now exercised by the Secretary of the War Department, in relation to all the acts of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs," to the Secretary of the Interior, who now headed the newly created DOI.

http://www.loc.gov/law/help/statutes-at-large/30th-congress/session-2/c30s2ch108.pdf

The Bureau's organizational chart is available in Portable Document Format (PDF) for viewing and downloading.

https://www.indianaffairs.gov/sites/bia.gov/files/uploads/bia/bia-org-chart.pdf

STATUTORY AND REGULATORY AUTHORITIES

Statutory material affecting the BIA is codified in 25 U.S.C. 1–17 (chapter 1).

https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title25/chapter1&edition=prelim

Rules and regulations that affect Indians are codified in 25 CFR. Parts 1–299 contain rules and regulations that are associated with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Parts 900–999 contain rules and regulations that are associated with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and with the Department of Health and Human Service's Indian Health Service.

https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=2dff2e4675b2891abcf7c9eb0078703c&mc=true&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title25/25tab_02.tpl

ACTIVITIES

The BIA's mission centers on fulfilling its trust responsibilities and promoting self-determination on behalf of federally recognized tribal governments, American Indians, and Alaska Natives. The BIA provides services to members of 573 federally recognized Indian Tribes in the 48 contiguous United States and Alaska—nearly two million American Indians and Alaska Natives.

https://www.bia.gov/bia

The BIA serves the federally recognized Tribes through four Offices:

The Office of Indian Services operates the BIA's general assistance, disaster relief, Indian child welfare, tribal government, Indian self-determination, and reservation roads programs.

https://www.bia.gov/bia/ois

The Office of Justice Services directly operates or funds law enforcement, tribal courts, and detention facilities on Federal Indian lands.

https://www.bia.gov/bia/ojs

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.

https://www.bia.gov/bia/ots

Lastly, the Office of Field Operations oversees 12 regional offices and 83 agencies that carry out the mission of the BIA at the tribal level. The regional offices and agencies administer delivery of program services to the federally recognized Tribes, to individual Indians, and to Alaska Natives, either directly or through contracts, grants or compacts.

https://www.bia.gov/regional-offices

Sources of Information

Archived Records

The "Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States" indicates that Bureau of Indian Affairs records have been assigned to record group 075.

https://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/075.html

Career Opportunities

BIA job opportunities, common job documents, and hiring information for American Indian and Alaska Native veterans are available online.

https://www.bia.gov/Jobs/index.htm

In 2019, the BIA ranked 349th among 420 agency subcomponents in the Partnership for Public Service's Best Places To Work Agency Rankings.

https://bestplacestowork.org/rankings/detail/IN06

Contact Information

The BIA posts its mailing address and fax and phone numbers on the Indian Affairs' website on the "Contact Us" web page.

https://www.bia.gov/contact-us

Estate Planning

The American Indian Probate Reform Act of 2004 (AIPRA) made changes to the way trust or restricted land and property is inherited. It also made changes that affected land management and purchases. The BIA website has information that explains how AIPRA affects wills and inheritance.

https://www.bia.gov/bia/ots/dres/estate-planning

Federal Register

Significant documents, from 1995 (volume 60) to the present, and recent documents that the BIA has published in the Federal Register are available online.

https://www.federalregister.gov/agencies/indian-affairs-bureau

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The FOIA establishes a presumption that the public may access records in the possession of Federal agencies. The Act is based on the principle of openness in government and generally provides that a person has a right of access to Federal agency records. This right of access is restricted, however, by nine exemptions and three special law enforcement record exclusions that shield certain records, or parts of them, from disclosure. More information on the FOIA and instructions for submitting a request to access BIA records are available on the Indian Affairs website.

https://www.bia.gov/as-ia/foia | Email: foia@bia.gov

Before submitting a FOIA request in writing with the FOIA officer, the requester should check that the information being sought is not already in the public domain. The DOI maintains FOIA libraries that include the following record types and resources: final opinions made in the adjudication of cases; policy statements and interpretations that the DOI has adopted, but not published in the Federal Register; administrative staff manuals and staff instructions that affect a member of the public; records that have been requested repeatedly by submitters of FOIA requests or records that the DOI anticipates will be requested repeatedly in the future; an index of frequently requested records; and links to other related sites and reference materials.

https://www.doi.gov/foia/library

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Indian Affairs posts answers to FAQs on its website.

https://www.bia.gov/frequently-asked-questions

Library

Frequently requested documents and links are accessible on the Indian Affairs website in the electronic document library.

https://www.bia.gov/bia/document-library

Maps

The Office of Trust Services' Branch of Geospatial Support (BGS) posts web maps and static maps, as well as downloadable data, on the Indian Affairs' website. The BGS provides geographic information systems software, training, and system support for the management of natural resources on Indian lands. Phone, 877-293-9494.

https://biamaps.doi.gov | Email: geospatial@bia.gov

"Indian Lands of Federally Recognized Tribes of the United States" is available on the Office of Trust Services' "Division of Land Titles and Records" web page. The Office's web team posted the map file in Portable Document Format (PDF) for viewing and downloading.

https://www.bia.gov/sites/bia.gov/files/assets/bia/ots/webteam/pdf/idc1-028635.pdf

The "National Climate Assessment—Indigenous People's Resilience Actions" map, which is posted on the Office of Trust Services' website, provides an overview of indigenous people's actions to prepare for changes in climate by taking steps to increase resilience.

https://biamaps.doi.gov/nca/

Programs / Services

Federally recognized Tribes look to the BIA for a range of services. The "Programs and Services" web page, which is accessible on the Indian Affairs' website, provides information about them.

https://www.bia.gov/programs-services

Regional Offices

Contact information for the 12 BIA regional offices is available online.

https://www.bia.gov/regional-offices

Regulations in Development

The "Regulations and Other Documents in Development" web page, which is part of the Indian Affairs' website, allows visitors to monitor the progress of regulations that are in development, under review, or in development and under review.

https://www.bia.gov/as-ia/raca/regulations-and-other-documents-in-development

Site Map

The site map, which is part of the Indian Affairs' website, allows visitors to look for specific topics or to browse content that aligns with their interests.

https://www.bia.gov/sitemap

Social Media

The BIA posts content on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/USIndianAffairs

The BIA tweets announcements and other newsworthy items on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/USIndianAffairs

Tribal Leaders Directory

The directory, which is part of the Indian Affairs' website, provides contact information for each federally recognized Tribe, as well as for the leadership of the BIA. The electronic and interactive map-based directory contains information on each BIA region and agency that provides services to a specific Tribe.

https://www.bia.gov/tribal-leaders-directory

Wildland Fire Management

Indian Affairs posted a collection of fire prevention and education videos on wildland fire management in Indian country on its website. Note that not all of the videos in the collection were produced by the BIA.

https://www.bia.gov/bia/ots/dfwfm/bwfm/Video-Library

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