Ryan Zinke speaking at the National Congress of American Indians annual convention in Denver in October 2018. Native News Online photo by Levi Rickert
Published December 16, 2018
WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is leaving his position at the end of this year, according to a tweet this morning by President Trump.The Interior Deparment is one of the most important federal posts to American Indians and Alaska Natives because the Interior department houses Indian Affairs, which oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education.
Zinke has been under investigation for several seiours ethics violations.
According to a June 19 Politico report, a property development group funded by Halliburton chairman David Lesar is planning a large commercial development in Whitefish, Montana – Zinke’s home town – that would substantially increase the value of property Zinke owns. In addition to Zinke’s private property, the planned development is adjacent to a parcel owned by a foundation Zinke started but claims to have left in 2017.
Zinke has drawn much criticisim by tribal officials for his work to have Bears Ear National Monument reduced in size.