indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
The University of Tulsa College of Law - Master's in Indian Law
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Big workload looms for BIA on federal recognition
Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Bureau of Indian Affairs plans to make decisions affecting the federal recognition of 17 tribes within the next two years, according to documents recently filed in federal court.

A declaration by R. Lee Fleming, the chief of the Office of Federal Acknowledgment, and a summary of recognition cases give an update on the BIA's heavy workload. As of February 4, there are seven groups on the "active" list 12 groups on the "ready" list, and two groups on the "reconsidered" list, according to the documents.

At the same time, the agency is still working with a limited amount of staff and resources. Fleming's office currently employs 10 people, down from the 12 or 13 in years prior, and has contracts with seven others. The recent retirement of an anthropologist means the BIA only has two full teams, instead of the usual three, working on recognition cases.

The teams are currently working on the seven cases that are under "active" consideration. The cases are: the St. Francis/Sokoki Band of Abenakis of Vermont (proposed finding by September 2005); the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe of Montana (final determination by February 2007); the Steilacoom Tribe of Washington (final determination by January 2007); the Biloxi, Chitimacha Confederation of Muskogees of Louisiana (amended proposed finding by October 2005); the Port Au Chien Indian Tribe of Louisiana (amended proposed finding by October 2005); the United Houma Nation of Louisiana (final determination by October 2006); and the Burt Lake Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan (final determination by February 2006).

The teams are also working on reconsidered final determinations for the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation and the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation, both of Connecticut. Decisions are due September 12, 2005. Additionally, two Nipmuc groups from Massachusetts are in the appeals process.

Timelines for the groups on the "ready" list are less certain and depend on the workload for the previously mentioned cases. But the BIA nevertheless has developed a schedule for three of the 12 cases: the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians of California (proposed finding by May 2006); the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts (proposed finding by April 2006); and the Brothertown Indians of Wisconsin (proposed finding by September 2006).

To deal with the increased workload, the BIA plans to hire three professional staff members, Fleming said in his declaration. With the hiring of an anthropologist to replace the one who retired, the office will have four teams in place by October 1, 2005.

If the plans hold up, the BIA will have greatly improved its record on recognition cases. Instead of deciding on one to two cases a year, the agency issues about three a year.

Yet there is much more work to be done, the documents show. Of the 12 tribes on the "ready" list, several have been waiting almost a decade for a team to be assigned to their cases. These include the Tolowa Nation of California, which has been waiting since 1996; and the Piro/Manso/Tiewa Indian Tribe of New Mexico, which has been waiting since 1997.

The BIA prioritizes this list based on the date the petitions were deemed ready. Based on current plans and projections, that means groups like the Shinnecock Nation of New York won't receive an answer for another six to seven years.

The BIA developed regulations to recognize Indian tribes in 1978. Since then, the agency has approved 15 petitioners and turned down 19 petitioners.

Additionally, the BIA has clarified the federal status of at least four tribes, although only one -- the Ione Band of Miwok Indians of California -- is counted because it was the only one to have submitted a petition for recognition. The three others -- including the Koi Nation of California -- were recognized through administrative measures.

Congress also has acted to recognize nine tribes. Two of those tribes had their status restored after being terminated. The remaining 11 were the subject of special legislation.

Relevant Documents:
Summary of Acknowledgment Cases | R. Lee Fleming Declaration

Only on Indianz.Com:
Federal Recognition Database V2.0 (May 2005)

Related Stories:
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation to submit more evidence (07/14)
Editorial: Tribe has one 'last shot' at recognition (7/12)
BIA wants Connecticut tribe to submit more evidence (7/7)
Republican lobbyists fighting for, against tribes (06/28)
Schaghticoke tribe wants to submit new evidence (6/27)
BIA ruling on Connecticut tribes expected in September (06/15)
Olsen won't let Connecticut tribes submit evidence (05/24)
BIA might not accept new evidence from tribes (5/20)
Editorial: Reform of recognition process needed (5/17)
BIA ordered to reconsider two recognition cases (5/17)
Familiar problems aired at recognition hearing (05/12)
Bill against tribe's recognition called termination (04/29)
Federal recognition a costly and risky affair (04/25)
Federal recognition hearing set by Sen. McCain (4/22)
McCain to address federal recognition concerns (04/22)
Recognition handed to a 'not well informed' Cason (04/01)
Recognition bills surface yet again in Congress (03/17)
Schaghticoke chief debates foe of tribe's recognition (03/16)
Connecticut tribe and main foe to discuss recognition (03/08)
Bill revokes BIA's recognition of Connecticut tribe (3/7)
Tribe wants details of lobbying firm's contacts (02/25)
Group denies contact with DOI over tribe's recognition (02/18)
Lobbyist hired to overturn tribe's recognition (01/24)
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation in dispute with backer (01/20)
Lawmakers ask Norton to block tribe's recognition (12/10)
BIA made error in tribe's recognition case (12/9)
Group claims tribe's recognition will hurt community (09/30)
State officials want 'fix' to recognition process (09/09)
Probe finds no wrongdoing in BIA recognition case (09/01)
Inspector General investigation called 'bunch of b.s.' (09/01)
Schaghticoke recognition to go before review board (06/04)
Critics take BIA to task over federal recognition (05/06)
Recognition briefing paper at heart of latest feud (05/05)
Martin attacked for federal recognition decision (05/04)
Blumenthal criticized for 'all-out war' on tribes (04/30)
Report: Martin bent rules to recognize Conn. tribe (3/12)
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation: 'Today is our day' (1/30)
Recognition decision expected for Schaghticoke Tribe (1/26)
BIA asked to reconsider tribe's membership roll (12/05)
Conn. AG wants to break court agreement with BIA (11/12)
Tribe seeking recognition purges membership rolls (10/13)
State recognized tribe allowed to sue in Conn. (07/22)
Conn. court upholds jurisdiction over tribe (05/13)
Schaghticoke chief disputes state jurisdiction (01/17)
McCaleb 'throwing away a history of people' (12/06)
Schaghticoke Tribe denied recognition (12/5)
Lawmakers attempt to thwart recognition (12/5)
Conn. tribe awaits recognition ruling (12/4)
Recognition decision expected this week (12/2)
McCaleb plans to issue recognition ruling (11/26)
McCaleb ruling holds promise for state tribes (06/25)
McCaleb makes recognition history (6/25)
BIA project consumes recognition resources (06/12)
BIA recognition staff fails pressure test (05/31)
State challenges Schaghticoke Tribe (04/19)
Tribe's recognition delayed (02/20)
Conn. tribe waiting on recognition (01/23)

Copyright 2000-2005 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Appeals court hears slew of Indian cases amid focus on nominee (3/23)
Internal tribal disputes continue to trip up federal court system (3/23)
Mark Trahant: Indian health care gains ignored in political debate (3/23)
Native Sun News Today: Young fighters maintain Lakota tradition (3/23)
Ivan Star Comes Out: America loses its self-respect and humanity (3/23)
Rosalyn LaPier: Why water remains sacred to indigenous peoples (3/23)
Winona LaDuke: North Dakota spreads filth about water protectors (3/23)
Harold Monteau: Tribal governments are abusing their own people (3/23)
Alex Jacobs: Donald Trump in middle of the 'deep state civil war' (3/23)
Secretary Zinke announces 'doggy days' for Interior Department (3/23)
Keystone XL Pipeline route crosses Ponca Tribe's forced removal (3/23)
Indian lawmaker resigns after being charged for child prostitution (3/23)
Pinoleville Pomo Nation buys site of long-delayed casino project (3/23)
High court pick acknowledges poor treatment of 'sovereign' tribes (3/22)
Dakota Access submits another status update entirely under seal (3/22)
Court allows claim for alleged underpayment in Cobell settlement (3/22)
South Dakota tribes continue to extend Class III gaming compacts (3/22)
Cowlitz Tribe secures approval to offer liquor as casino debut nears (3/22)
Native Sun News Today: Community project continues at Pine Ridge (3/22)
Cronkite News: Copper mine on sacred site complains about delays (3/22)
Mary Annette Pember: Awareness for missing and murdered sisters (3/22)
Stacy Pratt: Visiting the gravesite of Andrew Jackson in Tennessee (3/22)
Murder charge filed for fatal shooting of Navajo Nation police officer (3/22)
Muckleshoot Tribe still seeking answers for fatal shooting by officer (3/22)
Hopland Band submits claim for county raid of marijuana operation (3/22)
Chukchansi Tribe sued for $21M by gaming development company (3/22)
Seminole Tribe accused of breaking contract with outlet at casino (3/22)
Indian Child Welfare Act survives attack from conservative groups (3/21)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs schedules hearing on diabetes (3/21)
Ponca Tribe hosts 282-mile walk to retrace trail of forced removal (3/21)
National Indian Gaming Association honors Native casting director (3/21)
Native Sun News Today: Whiteclay liquor sales up for review again (3/21)
James Giago Davies: It's time to take a trip to the Great Upstairs (3/21)
Smith and Wakefield: Obamacare repeal is bad for Indian Country (3/21)
Steve Russell: Domestic status of Indian nations invented in 1831 (3/21)
Steven Newcomb: Pope Francis must address domination legacy (3/21)
Tulalip Tribes install 1st leadership board with women in majority (3/21)
Osage Nation passes referendum to legalize same-sex marriage (3/21)
Mishewal Wappo Tribe returns to court to seek federal recognition (3/21)
Lawmakers pushing for federal recognition of six tribes in Virginia (3/21)
Cowlitz Tribe casino seen as impacting lottery revenues in Oregon (3/21)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.