Indian Affairs | OIS

Office of Indian Services

                 Deputy Bureau Director HO Picture 2015                                          Associate DBD SB 2015

                 Hankie P. Ortiz                                          Spike Bighorn
                 Deputy Bureau Director                           Associate Deputy Bureau Director
                 Office of Indian Services                          
Office of Indian Services


Indian Services Mission

To facilitate support for tribal people and tribal governments by promoting safe and quality living environments, strong communities, self sufficient and individual rights, while enhancing protection of the lives, prosperity and well being of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

The Office of Indian Services will support families and make communities safer for American Indian and Alaska Native people

To meet the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) mission of “enhancing the quality of life of American Indians and Alaska Natives”, the Office of Indian Services will improve the safety of BIA roads and bridges on Indian lands, and provide additional services to combat family and domestic violence in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. 

The Office of Indian Services will honor tribal sovereignty by supporting Self-Determination while upholding the fiduciary responsibility.

To meet the BIA’s mission of maintaining government-to-government relationships with Indian tribes, within the spirit of Self-Determination, the Office of Indian Services offers training to improve the efficiency of awarding Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA) funding, improve the monitoring of Individual Indian Monies (IIM) accounts to protect the account holder’s trust income and continue to meet the statutory requirement of annually identifying tribes that have been federally recognized to receive services from the Federal Government.

The Office of Indian Services is comprised of four divisions: 

Division of Human Services

  • Guides national leadership on the following programs of Welfare Assistance, Child Protection and Family Violence Intervention in Indian Country, Indian Child Welfare Act, Supervised Individual Indian Money Accounts, and the Housing Improvement Program.  
  • Develops and implements regulations, policies and procedures related to social services and housing in Indian Country 
  • Provides technical assistance (when requested or identified), consultation, and appropriate training Bureau-wide; leads national coordination and collaboration with other Federal agencies that provide human services funding and social services programs to Indian communities
  • Manages all human services-related financial assistance programs by providing direct payments to eligible individuals, including:  general assistance, child assistance, emergency assistance, disaster and burial assistance

Division of Self-Determination Services

  • Guides national leadership on the following programs of a uniformed Self-Determination policy and standard procedures, contract support for ISDEAA agreements (contracts and compacts, both), and comprehensive training development
  • Provides guidance, technical support, and advisory services related to ISDEAA to BIA senior management, tribal officials, and other agency staff
  • Maintains the authorized database of current and eligible Awarding Officials
  • Manages the distribution of contract support-related funds, including:  the contract support fund and the Indian Self-Determination fund

Division of Transportation

  • Guides national leadership on the following programs of Transportation infrastructure construction, Transportation infrastructure maintenance, and Tribal Tourism
  • Preserves the BIA’s transportation infrastructure, including:  more than 30,000 miles of road, more than 700 bridge units, and 1 ferry
  • Oversees, manages, and monitors all activities related to improving BIA transportation systems within or providing access to Indian reservations, lands, villages and communities
  • Serves as the lead liaison to other Federal transportation agencies

Division of Tribal Government Services

  • Guides national leadership on the following programs of Tribal enrollment activities, including enrollment appeals, Tribal organic documents, Certificates of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB), and Judgment funds
  • Provides technical assistance and resources to Tribal governments and Tribal organizations to support secretarial elections and the development and enhancement of tribal membership rolls
  • Leads the maintenance of the listing of federally-recognized tribal entities (566 tribes currently recognized)

Indian Services News, Upcoming Conferences/Trainings:

NEW! Standing Announcement for Tribal Title IV-E Plan Development Grants

NEW!  How-To Effectively Implement General Assistance into Pub. L. 102-477 Plan

NEW!  ICWA - Designated Tribal Agents for Service of Notice (Federal Register)

NEW! For all aspects to P.L. 93-638 - Click on Indian Services- Division of Self Determination

Latest  Tribal Leaders Directory 

NEW!  Dear Tribal Leader Letter notifying Tribes of listening session on ICWA -Tuesday, March 11, 2014