Rep. Young Pleased With New BIA Regional Director
Washington, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young released the below statement this afternoon following the announcement by Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Director Michael S. Black that Eugene R. Virden has been named Regional Director of the BIA’s Alaska Regional Office in Juneau. Virden has been serving as the acting regional director since 2001.
“Of the 12 BIA regional offices in the country, Alaska’s is the only one who hasn’t had a permanent director in place. This problem was brought to my attention last week when I spoke with the Alaska Federation of Natives Legislative Committee. At their request, I called Secretary Salazar, and asked that this be made a priority. The Regional Director is responsible for all of the Bureau’s activities within that region. With such a wide variety of Alaska Native and Indian people in our state, it is unacceptable that Alaska’s office, which overseas 229 tribes and villages, be the only office without permanent leadership. When I met with (Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs) Larry Echo Hawk this morning I thanked him for realizing the importance of this appointment. I am very pleased with the choice to make Mr. Virden the director and that I look forward to working with him moving forward.”