Federal Recognition

Shinnecock Nation spent $32M in 32 years for federal recognition






The flag of the Shinnecock Nation. Photo from SN

The Shinnecock Nation of New York was the most recent tribe to gain federal recognition through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, an effort that lasted decades and required a lot of money.

The tribe was one of the first to apply for recognition under the Part 83 regulations, which were adopted in 1978. After $33 million and 32 years, the BIA's favorable decision became final in October 2010.

"Most tribes don’t have those sorts of resources to put together a petition,” Patty Ferguson-Bohnee, the director of the Indian legal program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, told McClatchy News. “People are turning in 50,000 to 100,000 pages and spending exorbitant amounts of money.”

The Shinnecocks had to document their history all the way back to the late 1600s. The BIA's proposed reforms would only require petitioning groups to go back to 1934.

Get the Story:
New rules might recognize more tribes, create new casinos (McClatchy News 8/12)

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

Related Stories:
BIA extends comment period on federal recognition regulation (7/25)