Gov. Gary Herbert fires state director of Indian Affairs, no reason given

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  • dustman Nampa, ID
    Feb. 27, 2011 5:19 p.m.

    the US government does not make treaties with different races....they make treaties with other governments. The relationship between Indian people and the federal government is not a race-to-government relationship. It is a government-to-government relationship.

    When Indian people question government actions or mistreatment, it has to do with the enforcement of treaty rights and obligations....or promises made and not kept.

    Please do not make this about race. It is about one government (state of utah) and its relationship with other governments located within the state (the american Indian tribes). If the state of Utah isn't getting what they want, they are going to find someone who will help them get it. Unfortunately this usually comes by ignoring the laws of the land.

  • Freedom Huntsville, UT
    Feb. 26, 2011 1:56 p.m.

    I'm not sure what the purpose or intent is of some of these comments. Maybe to vent frustration? There is a better way to relieve frustrations and that's with the truth. Maybe I can offer some 'truth' that will help...if accepted. It's impossible to understand until you've had the job, walked the walk, taken the heat, been there, experienced that, and learned first hand. Things are rarely as we imagine. Hardly as devious as we suppose. We simply don't know. But, when we are angry, feeling helpless, we often imagine the worst to justify our discontent. Solution? Get involved. Take the time to experience what you don't understand. Volunteer-ism will enable you to do just about anything. Hold your tongue, watch, listen, learn, and be a better person for it. Until you talk with all involved, you're not qualified to speak on anyone's behalf. It does them and you a dis-service. Take that frustration and put it to work.

  • Ralph West Jordan Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 26, 2011 1:45 p.m.

    Re: Uncle Mal, Rose Park

    Save the Drama for your Mama!! Like you would quietly walk away if you had just lost your means to support your family, ability to pay your bills and prepare for your future after thirteen plus years of service, and without a reason given? If you did I would question your backbone! You are right people get hired and they get fired, but people in the public sector work for the tax payers, the Gov. works for the taxpayers also, and in this case happens to be the dismissed individuals supervisor as it were. If the dismissal is justified give the reason. "No reason for dismissal" just doesn't cut it.

  • Uncle Mal Rose Park, UT
    Feb. 26, 2011 10:57 a.m.

    He worked as an appointee of the governor. Political appointees get hired and fired at will. That's the way it works. He should have known this and should have the dignity to walk away quietly. He was appointed, not anointed.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Feb. 26, 2011 10:25 a.m.


    I'm glad you have never mistreated any American Indian. You cited a bunch of groups that were historically mistreated and yes you are right there. The American Indian experience I would say is very unique and different however. The U.S. Government has been treated every tribe basically as a conquered country through treaties, most of which were broken. American Indians were given land ("reservations") not usually of their own choosing and much of our government's history was capturing and then relocating American Indians to these lands. Most did not go because they wanted to. There is a unique relationship that exists between our government and the American Indian reservations which I won't even pretend to understand. These reservations have some sort of governing power within their lands (own govt. structure, police etc.) but obviously these lands are within other local, state and federal govt. areas. Some reservations cross state lands, some reservations even envelop lands where mostly whites live (see Ute Reservation). Therefore, because of this unique situation, positions like this exist and I think the person in this position needs to be an advocate for the American Indians first, governor second.

  • Ralph West Jordan Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 26, 2011 8:57 a.m.

    Re: Oh Please 4:27pm

    Cronyism is distasteful! In fact it is plain disgusting especially by someone who is supposed to protect and serve all the citizens
    Isn't it strange that this dismissal comes after a strong complaint from a contractor. Doesn't this have a familiar ring? Isn't it strange that there are no reasons given to the dismissed individual? Me thinks something is strange, but thats only my opinion. Just seems like an all to familiar trend continues.

  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    Feb. 26, 2011 8:34 a.m.

    It's time to send more state workers back into the private sector to be re-trained.

  • Freedom Huntsville, UT
    Feb. 26, 2011 6:43 a.m.

    I have no inside track however I feel it was a request from a majority of the Native American community leaders and the Governor is trying to help them save face. Like I said, I have no verification of this - just an observation.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Feb. 26, 2011 12:17 a.m.


    Is there anything that a Republican has ever done that you disagree with?

    So predictable to read so many of the comments on this board day after day.

  • Considering Stockton, UT
    Feb. 25, 2011 11:18 p.m.

    "In this case, the most important thing is that this gentleman does his job well as a positive advocate for the American Indians of Utah not that he shares the governor's vision or whatever that might mean."

    That is a fine opinion. But it is NOT reflected in Utah law since this is clearly an at-will position rather than a merit position.

    And our country had NO "native population". Some folks immigrated earlier than others. But to call the peoples who predated Columbus' discovery of the land "native" is to take a very Euro-centric view of history.

    No doubt the AmerIndians were mistreated. So too were the blacks, the Asians, the Mormons, the Catholics, the Irish, and several other groups.

    Why do the AmerIndians living in Utah need an advocate any more than the Mormons in Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, or New York?

    I'm sorry some people were mistreated. But I never mistreated them. My great-great grandfather did marry an Indian woman. Her blood flows in my veins. How many living AmerIndians have been mistreated?

    Isn't it time we ended racist policies, offices, and programs?

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Feb. 25, 2011 6:47 p.m.


    In this case, the most important thing is that this gentleman does his job well as a positive advocate for the American Indians of Utah not that he shares the governor's vision or whatever that might mean. I think some transparency with this is in order. I think this is a special case because of the tragic and unfortunate history of our country in dealing with its native population. Anything done here that could be construed as hurting the American Indian further is a cause for some scrutiny. Sorry, that's how I see it.

  • Considering Stockton, UT
    Feb. 25, 2011 5:57 p.m.

    Utah is a right-to-work State and an at-will employment State.

    As the duly elected chief executive of the State, the Governor is entitled to hire and fire whom he will for CERTAIN positions. How is a governor suppose to effect his campaign promises and policy positions if he is unable to hire staff that share his views.

    Many--too many--positions in government are considered "merit" positions and employees cannot be fired. This is the large and powerful, unelected and unaccountable bureaucracy that is really the 4th and often most powerful, least responsive branch of government. Elected officials come and go, the bureaucrats seem to stay around forever.

    I don't why the governor let this guy go. IF at some point there is evidence it was for untoward reasons, the governor will pay the political price for it.

    But I'd just as soon see governors and presidents have a lot more positions that are at-will rather than so-called merit. Elections SHOULD have consequences and the guy who wins the election should be able to hire those who share his vision.

  • kemitc Nashville, TN
    Feb. 25, 2011 4:56 p.m.

    This is 2011, so why is there still a Division Affairs. Guess Lincoln forgot about the Indians when he freed the slaves.

  • Oh, please! Saint George, UT
    Feb. 25, 2011 4:27 p.m.

    The article said no reason was given because it was a personnel issue. That could include scores of legitimate reasons, but perhaps not one that could be shared with the public. The other posters' cries of cronyism, etc. are distasteful.

  • ujfan Oljato, UT
    Feb. 25, 2011 4:18 p.m.

    I'm surprised he actually made it this long.

  • mornixuur Layton, UT
    Feb. 25, 2011 4:03 p.m.

    We'll see very shortly why he was fired. Some crony of the governor's will get a deal involving Native American interests, and then you'll know where the bribe came from.

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    Feb. 25, 2011 3:50 p.m.

    I don't know why he was terminated, but my dealings with Forrest is that he has been very responsive to tribal causes.

  • USA Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 25, 2011 3:42 p.m.

    Perhaps the governor will now become the Indian Affairs czar, as well as the Education czar.

  • Dixie Dan Saint George, UT
    Feb. 25, 2011 3:32 p.m.

    The man works for 13+ years for the state and is fired without an explanation?
    So much for job security in Utah. I hope his replacement is not a relative of the governor or one of his contributors as is so often the case in this state.

  • D A Webb Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 25, 2011 2:44 p.m.

    I do not and can not believe he was fired for no reason, I mean this is 2011!!!!! He was fired because he was a problem for the brass in power, plain and simple. He made too many waves so they fired him.