Federal Recognition

BIA takes comment on changes to federal recognition process





The Bureau of Indian Affairs held a public meeting on Thursday to discuss proposed changes to the federal recognition process.

The meeting took place in Solvang, California. Leaders of at least three non-recognized tribes in the state told the BIA that the current process is too timely, too costly and too confusing, The Lompoc Record reported.

Since the start of the current process in 1987, no petitioner from California has been able to secure federal recognition. The state is unique because the U.S. negotiated a treaty that would have confirmed a government-to-government relationship with many tribes but the agreement was never ratified by the Senate.

Dozens of California tribes were also subject to termination laws. They are not allowed to follow the process and must instead go through Congress to regain recognition.

Comments on the proposed changes are being accepted until August 16.

Get the Story:
Feds hear about Indian tribe recognition proposal (The Lompoc Record 7/26)

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:
Editorial: BIA needs to be more open with federal recognition (07/15)
Tribal critics in Connecticut question BIA recognition proposal (07/08)
BIA asks tribes about new federal recognition regulations (06/27)