Eric LaPointe

General Information


Local Superintendent  - Bureau of Indian Affairs

Superintendent  - Fort Hall Agency

BIA Superintendent  - Fort Hall Agency

Superintendent  - Indian Affairs for the Fort Hall Indian Reservation

Superintendent  - Blackfoot Reservation

Recent News  

"The goal at that time was to train Indians and other minorities in guidance and counseling," said Eric LaPointe.
"Dr. Tom Gooden initially got the first federal grant, and it was in the school of education." The program started with 20 students, who, after two years, graduated with their master's degrees. "It was the first time we ever had that number in South Dakota graduate with that degree," he said. As LaPointe was finishing up work on his master's degree at the University of Montana, he was asked to work on creating a satellite program that would offer educational opportunities at USD, the University of North Dakota, Eastern Washington, the University of Washington and the University of Montana. "The concept was that every summer, the students would come to the center here at USD, and I was the center director," LaPointe said. "At one time, from 1977 to 1983, the center satellite program had faded out so everything was here at USD," LaPointe said. "We were averaging at least 10 to 12 graduates every year with their master's in those disciplines, and at the same time we were able to get some funding so that some students could back here and receive their doctorate degrees." Today, LaPointe works for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Idaho, in part because federal funding that allowed Native American education programs to flourish at USD began to dry up in the 1980s. Young Native American people still have the same quest for education. "You need that advanced degree because you then come better prepared to work with students. The motivation is there, and we're about at the point where we need to try something like this again," he said. LaPointe said young Native American people are now "spreading their wings" so to speak, and seeking education opportunities in a wide variety of fields, from law and medicine to education and social work. "I'm staying busy this weekend, telling young people to not set their goals too short. They need to think big, and not shortchange themselves," he said.

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Bureau of Indian Affairs' local superintendent Eric LaPointe said Tuesday that the surveyors are not politicians, and are simply surveying the land.Over the years, the river's channel has changed, he said, and the island is being resurveyed.Denlinger's family did buy the land, LaPointe says, but he isn't sure the family bought the 130-acre island. "The question is, what did they buy?"LaPointe says."That's something that will have to be debated in court."When the official map is complete, it can be appealed through the Interior Board of Land Appeals, a process that can take up to three years.If the Bureau of Indian Affairs claims the land, it can be appealed through the Interior Board of Indian Appeals. After either appeals process, the dispute could end up in federal court, LaPointe says.

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The suit was initiated after Fort Hall Agency Superintendent Eric LaPointe declared in 1999 that the company was trespassing on the 10 miles of reservation land its pipeline crossed.He claimed the company added to the line without revising the existing right-of-way lease. LaPointe gave Northwest Pipeline 30 days to reach an agreement with landowners on a lease for the new easement conditions or remove the pipeline.

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