Federal Recognition

Tribal critics in Connecticut question BIA recognition proposal





Tribal critics in Connecticut say they will fight proposed changes to the federal recognition process at the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

State and local officials successfully blocked the recognition petitions of the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation, the Golden Hill Paugussett Tribe and the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation. They say the changes could help the three tribes gain federal status.

"I want to make sure Connecticut's interests are protected against any efforts to circumvent existing standards and criteria for recognition,'' Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), whose anti-tribal record was brought up during his Senate campaign, told The Hartford Courant. "I am going to ask the BIA for a full and exacting explanation for why these changes are needed. If necessary, I will ask for [Congressional] hearings."

At issue is a provision that will provide an "expedited" review of tribal groups with state-recognized reservations. The Eastern Pequot, Paugussett and Schaghticoke tribes reside on reservations that were set aside during Colonial times and their status has been recognized in state law.

"All of Connecticut should be worried,'' Nick Mullane, a town leader who has fought tribes, told the Courant.

Get the Story:
Tribal Recognition Battle May Restart (The Harford Courant 7/6)
Indian Affairs’ new regulations concern North Stonington (The Westerly Sun 6/30)
BIA floats new tribe status rules (The New London Day 6/30)

Federal Register Notice:
Procedures for Establishing That an American Indian Group Exists as an Indian Tribe (June 26, 2013)

Relevant Documents:
Dear Tribal Leaders Letter
Present Version - 25 CFR Part 83 Procedures for Establishing that an American Indian Group Exists as an Indian Tribe
Red Lined Proposed Version - 25 CFR Part 83 Procedures for Establishing that American Indian Group Exists as an Indian Tribe

Related Stories:
BIA asks tribes about new federal recognition regulations (06/27)