National | Federal Recognition

Tribes criticize veto provisions in BIA federal recognition rule






Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn. Photo from Bureau of Indian Affairs

Leaders of Connecticut tribes said state and local governments should not be able to veto their federal recognition petitions.

The Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation, the Golden Hill Paugussett Tribe and the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation were denied recognition through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Part 83 rule allows them to petition again but only if all interested parties agree, something that won't ever happen due to opposition from the state.

“It would be next to impossible for us to re-apply if this proposal goes through,” Eastern Pequot Chairman Dennis Jenkins told Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn at a public meeting yesterday, the Associated Press reported.

"We encourage third-party participation so everyone can be heard," Washburn responded, The Cape Cod Times reported.

"I don't look at this as resubmitting. I look at it as restoring what was rightfully ours," Schaghticoke Chief Richard Velky told Washburn, the Times reported.

Due to continued interest in the rule, the BIA will hold two more public meetings and two more tribal consultations over the phone. Comments are being accepted until September 30, according to a notice published in today's issue of the Federal Register.

Get the Story:
Federal rule change raises questions about tribal recognition in Conn. (WSHU 7/30)
Tribes: BIA system needs review (The Cape Cod Times 7/30)
CT politicians, Indian tribes escalate fight over recognition rule (The Connecticut Mirror 7/29)
Massachusetts, Connecticut tribes support changing federal recognition process (AP 7/29)

Federal Register Notices:
Federal Acknowledgment of American Indian Tribes (July 30, 2014)
Federal Acknowledgment of American Indian Tribes (May 29, 2014)

Relevant Documents:
Proposed Rule | Press Release | Comparison Chart (comparing current rule to proposed rule) | Response to Comments on June 2013 Discussion Draft | Frequently Asked Questions

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