Utahn in line for top Indian affairs job

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President Barack Obama is likely to tap Utahn Larry Echohawk as the head of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned.

Echohawk, a Democrat who teaches at Brigham Young University’s law school, would be the first high-ranking Mormon nominated to Obama’s administration, and the only Utahn so far in a senior role.

Reached by phone Tuesday, Echohawk declined to comment, saying he “can’t talk.”

The White House did not respond to requests for confirmation Tuesday. But several sources familiar with the vetting process say Echohawk, who is from the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, is the leading candidate for the position of assistant Interior secretary for Indian Affairs, which provides services for the estimated 1.7 million American Indians and Alaskan natives.



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