Department Of Interior
|Department of the Secretary
Mark Pfeifle/John Wright(DOI): 202-208-6416
|For Immediate Release: , 2003
Susan Cooper (NARA): 202-501-5526
News Release - Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton &
National Archives and Records Administration Sign Agreement to Create
(WASHINGTON) - Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton and Archivist of the United States John W. Carlin today signed a joint agreement creating a national repository for American Indian records to be maintained at a regional records service facility of the National Archives in Lenexa, Kansas. The Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) ensures that the highest standards will be observed in the preservation and protection of American Indian records, including fiduciary trust records.
The agreement also creates an archival records management studies program to be jointly developed by NARA, DOI and Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas. Haskell University president Karen Swisher met with Secretary Norton and Mr. Carlin following the signing of the agreement at the National Archives this afternoon.
"This agreement ensures the consolidation and permanent storage of the voluminous American Indian records that are in the possession of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Office of the Special Trustee, including related fiduciary trust records," Secretary Norton said today. "The National Archives maintains the documents that are at the foundation of our nation - from the original Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence to the many less famous records of the Federal Government. Our new partnership with the Archives will protect American Indian records in accordance with the highest standards for document storage and preservation. Our joint partnership with Haskell Indian Nations University will also result in a highly-trained, Native American workforce that will help protect these records for future generations."
Archivist John W. Carlin said, "On behalf of the National Archives and Records Administration, I am pleased to be a signatory to this agreement creating an American Indian Records Repository at our new facility in Lenexa. As the agreement recognizes, a core function of NARA is to assist agencies in the management of their records to ensure that essential documentation is available to Government officials, today's citizens and future generations. Through this agreement, NARA can perform a useful role in facilitating the long -term preservation of American Indian records at our new regional facility in Lenexa, in accordance with our standards for the storage of Federal records. We also are looking forward to working with Haskell Indian Nations University to develop an archival and records management studies program that will help support the management of American Indian records to be stored at NARA's facility."
The agreement signed today creates the American Indian Records Repository at the National Archives' underground storage facility at Lenexa, Kansas - southwest of Kansas City, Kansas. The repository will house consolidated American Indian records in the possession of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians, and other fiduciary trust records.
The archival and records management studies program, to be developed by DOI, NARA and Haskell Indian Nations University, will build a skilled workforce to support the ongoing management of government American Indian records and of the records repository. Haskell University is an accredited four year college operated and funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Its core mission is to serve as a national intertribal center for teaching, extension and research related to the study of American Indian Nations culture and affairs.
[Editor's Note: A copy of the joint Memorandum of Understanding is available on the Internet at www.doi.gov/news/mou.htm
A photo from today's signing at the National Archives in Washington featuring Secretary Norton, Mr. Carlin and Haskell Indian Nations University President Karen Swisher can be located at www.doi.gov/news/nara.jpg ]
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