BIA Gets New Director

Washington, D.C. – Sioux tribe member named to lead Indian Affairs

WASHINGTON (AP) Longtime Interior Department official Michael Black has been named director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Black is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. He had served as acting BIA director since March 18. He takes over from Jerold Gidner, who is now special counselor for Larry Echo Hawk, assistant Interior secretary for Indian Affairs.

Echo Hawk called Black a dedicated public servant and said he will lead initiatives to improve public safety and employment opportunities in tribal communities, promote tribal self-determination and responsibly manage a special Indian trust fund.

Black is a 23-year BIA employee and previously was director of the BIA's Great Plains regional office in South Dakota.