Bureau of Indian Affairs celebrates move | NevadaAppeal.com

Bureau of Indian Affairs celebrates move

Jill Lufrano
Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Seven-year-old Seth Hunta, right, stands with his cousins Josiah Hunta, 9, center, and William Westervelt, 15, all members of the Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley. They were joined by a large crowd of American Indians and dignitaries celebrating the opening of the Bureau of Indian Affairs building in the Federal Building in Carson City.

Wearing rabbit skirts and white paint, young warriors danced Tuesday on the same grounds where their ancestors used to play games, gather and recreate.

When their bare feet hit the ground, it was to bring out good spirits to the community and the people.

“We dance to bless the people and the things around them,” said Gerald Kane, who led the boys with native chants as he clicked together wooden sticks against his thigh.

Several regional tribal representatives, family and officials attended the opening of the new of Bureau of Indian Affairs Western Nevada Agency office at the Federal Building at 311 E. Washington St.

The agency recently renovated a section of the first floor to accommodate new equipment and offices for its 39 employees.

“It’s a lot larger and every employee will have more space,” said agency superintendent Robert Hunter.

The central location will be easier for families and tribal administration from out of the area to find, Hunter said.

“It’s easier to get to,” said Bonnie Akaka-Smith, chairwoman of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.

BIA provides technical support, social services, real estate, natural resources, tribal operations, road and law enforcement services to members of the Washoe, Paiute and Shoshone tribes.

Contact Jill Lufrano at jlufrano@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.