When Kevin Washburn was appointed to the post of Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, both he and Larry Roberts visited with the Task Force on Federal Acknowledgment of the National Congress of American Indians within the first few days of his time in that office. He promised that he was going to make changing the federal recognition process a top priority. Unlike many government officials who make promises and then make little or no effort to keep them, and often spend more time finding excuses as to why they can't be kept, Kevin Washburn kept his promise. With great difficulty and much resistance from enemies of tribal sovereignty both within and outside of Indian Country, he pressed on to keep his word. When the Obama administration demure debt providing the needed support to press through the changes that were so desperately needed, Kevin Washburn still kept up the fight. When he was attacked by members of Congress during public hearings, Kevin Washburn stood his ground. While not all of the changes were successfully passed, the Assistant Secretary fought long and hard to keep his word and then protect the modifications that he was successful in making.
In December 2015, Kevin Washburn resigned his position as Assistant Secretary. ACET acknowledges his valiant efforts and warriors heart. While much more still needs to be done, much progress has been made because of the work that was done on his watch.
Furthermore, we pledge to continue to fight on and want to encourage Larry Roberts as he assumes the post of his former colleague. We will always stand for justice and the promotion of inherent sovereignty for all historic American Indian nations!