Law | Federal Recognition

Little Shell Chippewa Tribe loses ruling in recognition appeal





The Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana lost a decision in its quest to gain federal recognition.

During the Clinton administration, the Bureau of Indian Affairs proposed to recognize the tribe in 2000. The Obama administration, nine years later, reversed course and issued a final determination against the tribe.

The tribe asked the Interior Board of Indian Appeals, an administrative review body, to look into the matter. The board, however, said it lacked jurisdiction to order the BIA to reconsider the petition.

"Petitioner’s Exhibits 1 and 2 include allegations that are within the board’s jurisdiction, but we conclude that that petitioner has not met its burden to establish that reconsideration is warranted, and thus we affirm the final determination," the June 12 decision stated.

But the decision gave some hope to the tribe. The board referred several issues to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who was asked about the issue at a hearing last month, for further review.

Interior Board of Indian Appeals Decision:
In Re Federal Acknowledgment of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana (June 12, 2013)

Related Stories:
Secretary Jewell mum on Little Shell Tribe recognition bid (05/16)