Department of the Interior

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Office of the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs
CONTACT: Nedra Darling
October 27, 2004
Assistant Secretary David Anderson, Sen. Pete Domenici
Highlight Records of Achievement and Public Service
at National Indian Programs Training Center Groundbreaking and BIA Office Dedication

ALBUQUERQUE - Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs David W. Anderson says the planned construction of the new National Indian Programs Training Center here is part of an ongoing effort to improve the delivery of federal services to Indian country. Assistant Secretary Anderson joined New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici at a groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility and a separate dedication of Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) offices on the Albuquerque site as the Pete V. Domenici Indian Affairs Building.

Assistant Secretary Anderson presided over the events that included a delegation of the nation's top Indian Affairs officials, including Special Trustee for American Indians
Ross O. Swimmer. The chairman of the All Indian Pueblo Council (AIPC), Amadeo Shije, also participated in today's ceremony.

"Establishing the National Indian Programs Training Center in Albuquerque places a key facility in the effort to improve the quality of service for Indian people within ready access of the nation's most populous American Indian community," Assistant Secretary Anderson said today. "Construction will begin in about 30 days, and when it is complete, the center will be available for training Interior employees, as well as tribal employees engaged in trust services. This will be the center for a unified approach to training that will develop a strong program expertise on behalf of Indian country."

Assistant Secretary Anderson also said he was proud to recognize the achievements of New Mexico's senior United States Senator:

"Senator Pete Domenici has been a tireless supporter of Indian programs, so it is fitting that we also take this opportunity to recognize his record of achievement by designating the new building housing many BIA offices in his honor."

Indian dancers and drummers were featured at the ceremony, followed by a traditional Indian feast. The event was sponsored by the Indian Pueblo Federal Development Corporation, the development arm of the All Indian Pueblo Council.

The existing 150,000 square foot building - on the 12th Street site of the old Albuquerque Indian School - opened in February 2004. It houses the BIA's Southwest Regional Office, Southern Pueblos Agency and the Office of Law Enforcement Services, as well as the Department of the Interior's Environmental Policy Regional Office.

Located just west of the Pete V. Domenici Indian Affairs Building, the National Indian Programs Training Center will take up approximately one-third of the new 150,000 square-foot building, which will be connected to the Domenici Building by an interior hallway. It is expected that other BIA agencies located throughout Albuquerque will move into the new building when the design-build construction is completed.

The National Indian Programs Training Center will be a hub for training all BIA employees associated with delivering fiduciary and trust services, employees of the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST) and tribal employees involved in trust reform and self-determination programs. The facility will be equipped with modern classrooms and employ state-of-the-art computer hardware for consistent training. In fiscal year 2005, BIA and OST will spend a minimum of $11.7 million for employee training.

The 44-acre Albuquerque Indian School site, located at 12th Street and Menaul, is Indian trust land held for the AIPC. It is being developed by the Indian Pueblo Federal Development Corporation.

The new building will be similar in design to the Domenici Building, which features large open office areas with energy efficient and cost savings office automation technical centers for up to 403 employees. The architect for both buildings is Design Collaborative Southwest of Albuquerque. The Domenici Building was the first government facility to be located on Indian trust land within Albuquerque's central business district. The firm of Dekker/Perich/Sabatini served as the interior design architect for the Domenici Building.




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