Department of the Interior

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Office of the Secretary
Contact: Frank Quimby,
For Immediate Release: September 22, 2004

California Tribe Presents Flag to Interior for Bureau of Indian Affairs Hall of Tribal Nations

WASHINGTON - The Chairman of the Lower Lake Rancheria - Koi Nation presented his tribe's flag to Interior Secretary Gale Norton and Interior Assistant Secretary Dave Anderson today, calling it a symbol of their struggle for recognition.

"We are delighted to have this beautiful symbol of your nation and we are proud to have it displayed along with other tribal flags in our Hall of Tribal Nations, " Secretary Norton said at the morning ceremony. "Your presentation comes at a most appropriate time this week, as we celebrate the heritage and cultural achievements of Indian people."

Norton also praised Assistant Secretary Dave Anderson, saying his energy, enthusiasm and concern for Indian people are helping Interior to improve the services it provides 1.5 million Native Americans and Alaska Natives. Anderson told Tribal Council Chairman Daniel Beltran that he was pleased and honored that the Lower Lake Rancheria - Koi Nation would like its tribal flag to join the Hall of Tribal Nations.

"We are grateful to Secretary Norton and Assistant Secretary Anderson for displaying this symbol of our tribal identity," Chairman Beltran said. "It has been a dream of ours for many years as we worked to regain federal recognition of our nation. This flag is a symbol of that struggle."

The Lower Lake Rancheria - Koi Nation, located in Santa Rosa, California (Sonoma County), has about 30 members, primarily of Pomo descent. The Lower Lake Rancheria land was sold in 1914 and the proceeds were placed within the Indians of California Judgment Fund.

At the time the federal government viewed the sale as the termination of the tribe. But the tribe continued to function and maintain its integrity throughout the 20th century. During the 1970s, the Bureau of Indian Affairs notified Interior officials that the tribe continued to exist. In 2000, the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs reaffirmed the tribe's federally recognized status.

Interior's Hall of Tribal Nations, located at the entrance to the Offices of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, displays the flags of federally recognized Native American and Alaska Native tribes in the United States. The flag of the Lower Lake Rancheria - Koi Nation displays a bald eagle over a lake scene as its central focus.

Members of the Tribal Council of the Lower Lake Rancheria-Koi Nation present their tribal flag to Interior Secretary Gale Norton and Assistant Secretary Dave Anderson. The flag will be displayed with other tribal flags in the Hall of Tribal Nations at the Main Interior Building. From left, Vice Chairperson Carol Tapia, Assistant Secretary Dave Anderson, Council Chairman Daniel Beltran, Secretary Norton, Councilman Dino Beltran, and Council Secretary Judith Morgan-Faber. At front center are the three children of Chairman Beltran (he is holding one of them); at right are two children of Council Secretary Morgan-Faber. Photo by Jeffrey Hunter, DOI/OCO.



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