Opinion | Federal Recognition

Editorial: Don't let BIA water down federal recognition process





Connecticut newspaper calls on Bureau of Indian Affairs to reject proposed changes to the federal recognition process that could affect state-recognized tribes:
Unless it can be stopped, Connecticut is about to get rolled by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is so angry about this that he hand-delivered a letter about it to President Obama last week. Everyone ought to be angry.

The BIA is preparing new rules — or watering down its old rules — on tribal recognition. If the rules are approved, three putative tribes that have been denied federal recognition in the past — the Eastern Pequot of North Stonington, the Golden Hill Paugussett of Colchester and Trumbull and the Schaghticoke of Kent — will be eligible to try again, under much less exacting standards.

If they win recognition, the result will be "devastating" to Connecticut, as Mr. Malloy told the president. These "tribes" have filed or threatened land claims to large swaths of fully developed land in Connecticut, claims that can cloud titles to property. Recognition will require the state to set aside trust lands, taking property off the tax rolls.

Get the Story:
Easing Tribal Recognition Standards A Bad Idea (The Hartford Courant 3/6)

Also Today:
Federal tribe recognition debated (The Yale Daily News 3/6)
Tribal leader blasts Gov. Malloy over US rules (AP 5/4)

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:
Connecticut governor opposes BIA federal recognition reforms (2/27) Connecticut politicians want BIA to drop recognition reform (8/30)
Connecticut leads opposition to federal recognition reforms (8/26)
BIA extends comment period on federal recognition proposal (08/13)