Law | Federal Recognition

Ex-BIA official backs Duwamish Tribe's federal recognition





The Obama administration has moral and legal grounds to extend federal recognition to the Duwamish Tribe of Washington, a former Bureau of Indian Affairs official said.

Michael Anderson was serving as acting assistant secretary at the BIA when he issued a decision in favor of the tribe in January 2001. The Bush administration, however, held the ruling back and eventually turned down the tribe, a move that a federal judge said was not properly explained.

"It would be defensible legally and, I think, morally, for the Department of Interior to accept my final 2001 conclusion to recognize Duwamish as a tribe," Anderson told The West Seattle Herald.

Anderson's handling of the matter was the subject of an investigation by the Office of Inspector General at the Interior Department. No wrongdoing was uncovered.

Get the Story:
Duwamish Tribe's federal recognition in 2001 wrongly denied says judge; Former Pres. Clinton Indian Affairs deputy sees opportunity (The West Seattle Herald 3/28)

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