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Recognition
Wilton Rancheria set to elect new tribal council


The Wilton Rancheria of California plans to work with the Bureau of Indian Affairs to elect a new tribal council and draft a constitution after being restored to federal recognition.

A notice published in the Federal Register yesterday said the Wilton Rancheria is "entitled to any of the benefits or services provided or performed by the United States for Indian Tribes, bands, communities or groups because of its status as an Indian Tribe." The tribe had been wrongfully terminated in 1959.

"Now that we are once again rightfully restored to federal recognition, we can now look forward to developing future plans for a number of vital tribal services, like housing, health care, education and economic development," said Henry Sangmaster, a tribal leader.

The Me-Wuk Indian Community of the Wilton Rancheria and the Wilton Miwok Rancheria reached a settlement with the Interior Department to be recognized as one tribe. "We will work tirelessly to ensure both the election and constitutional processes are open, fair and democratic," Sangmaster said.

The tribe's federal restoration became official on June 8, according to the notice.

Federal Register Notice:
Restoration of Wilton Rancheria (July 13, 2009)

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Officials object to restoration of Wilton Rancheria (7/9)
With recognition, Wilton Rancheria looks to future (7/8)
Wilton Rancheria regains federal recognition (6/9)
Wilton Rancheria announces federal restoration (6/5)