Letter from Mr. Wayne Head to Congressman Bill Richardson

Below is a copy of the letter sent by Mr. Wayne Head to Congressman Bill Richardson expressing his concern over the handling by the BIA of the tribal membership applications submitted by himself and his extended family members. This is followed by a copy of the letter sent by Congressman Richardson to Mr. Franklin Keel, Director of the Eastern Area BIA Office, expressing his desire to resolve these problems as soon as possible.

August 14, 1996
Congressman Bill Richardson
320 Connelly
Clovis, New Mexico 88102-1108

Dear Congressman Richardson,

This letter concerns the applications of several hundred members of my extended family for inclusion on the new Catawba Tribe membership roll. Attached are two letters that were recently sent to the BIA, and to the Catawba Executive Committee. These chronical our efforts to be included on the Catawba Roll.
In July 1995 Chief Gilbert Blue, and Executive Committee Seceretary Carson Blue met with several applicants in Farmington, New Mexico. At this time Chief Blue related to us that It was his intention, and the intention of the Executive Committee to have our names added to the Proposed Final Roll, as is called for in the current law concerning this issue.
On May 17,1996 myself and five cousins [met] with Chief Blue and the Executive Committee at Catawba to discuss the applications our families had submitted. At this time Chief Blue stated that the Tribe had submitted to the BIA a roll with our names on it but that the BiA had lost this roll. They subsequently sent the BIA a roll with our names left off. The June 1996 letter herein enclosed explains our concerns with this turn of events.
We have repeatedly notified the Eastern Area Division of the BIA of our concerns about the administration of this roll and have not recieved [received] adequate attention to these concerns on the behalf of the BIA.
What I am asking for in this request to you is that the BIA fulfill thier [their] role as administrators of this roll, and provide viable direction and advice to the Tribe in what has become a confusing process. The law clearly outlines how this can be achieved. I am not attempting to lay blame on the BIA, or on my kinsmen in the Catawba Tribe, but am instead seeking a light in a dark spot.
As we read the law, it is clear to us that we are in fact eligible for membership in the Catawba Tribe. The Chief has stated on several occasions that he recognizes our lineal descendancy and stated that we should be members of the Tribe. Please look at the attached material and let me know what can be done to have this membership roll process proceed as the law stipulates.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. If you would care to meet with some of the applicants let me know and this will be arranged.

Wayne K. Head
65 Ute Road
Clovis, New Mexico 88101

The letter from Congressman Bill Richardson to Mr. Franklin Keel in response to Mr. Wayne Head's request for assistance is shown below.

Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515-3103

August 21, 1996

Mr. Franklin Keel
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Eastern Area Offices
3701 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 620
Arlington, VA 22203

Re: Wayne Head,
Dear Mr. Keel:

             One of my constituents, Wayne Head, has contacted me for assistance on a problem with which the Bureau of Indian Affairs - Eastern Area Office might be able to help. I have enclosed all the information which we have been given on this particular case for you perusal an review.

             Wayne and I are anxious to resolve this problem as soon as possible. Because of this, your prompt consideration would be most appreciated. We will forward a copy of your response to our constituent. If you have any questions, please contact Becky Gear in my Clovis office.

                                                                                                                       Sincerely yours,

                                                                                                                       /s/ Bill

                                                                                                                       BILL RICHARDSON
                                                                                                                       Member of Congress
P.S.  The Clovis office requests a status report.   Thanks      Becky Gear

View/download images of the original letters.

Letter from Mr. Wayne Head to Congressman Bill Richardson

Letter from Congressman Bill Richardson to Mr. Franklin Keel