indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Martin attacked for federal recognition decision
Tuesday, May 4, 2004

The state of Connecticut accused the Bureau of Indian Affairs on Monday of a "complete about-face" for its controversial decision to recognize the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation.

State attorney general Richard Blumenthal was joined by a host of municipal leaders to announce his challenge to the the BIA. "This appeal is about a federal agency skirting and subverting the truth - and brazenly ridiculing the rule of law," he said at a press conference.

A 197-page filing being lodged with the Department of Interior's Board of Indian Appeals outlines a series of complaints against the decision. The state alleges that principal deputy assistant secretary Aurene Martin, in a January 29 final determination that reversed a negative proposed finding, manipulated gaps in evidence to show that the tribe has operated as a political and cultural unit since historical times.

"In a complete about-face that simply cannot be justified on the basis of the record or the regulations, the final determination acknowledged the [Schaghticokes] as a federal Indian tribe," the state writes.

Martin's use of the state's 300-plus year relationship with the tribe as part of her analysis draws significant criticism from Blumenthal. The state claims the relationship has no bearing on the tribe's case.

But Martin, in her decision, pointed out that the tribe, like others in the state, has its own state-recognized reservation. She also noted that, over the years, the state has legislated in the area of Indian affairs, including appointing overseers for the state's tribes, extending voting rights to tribal members and attempting to terminate the state-tribal relationship.

At an Indian law conference last month, Martin cited these factors in a public defense of her decision. While acknowledging that state recognition alone might not carry much weight, she said the "active" and "ongoing" relationship between the Schaghticokes and Connecticut deserved special attention.

"Why can't this relationship itself be proof of a tribe's political existence over that time period?" she said at the Federal Bar Association's Indian law conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"What about that grant of the right to vote to tribal members from the state, a basic right of citizenship?" she added. "Prior to the granting of right, [tribal members] must have belonged to some other political entity. They must have been citizens of something."

"How do you treat a petition from a state that has basically replicated the federal recognition at the state level, a recognition which, at the federal level, is at its core a recognition of another sovereign entity?" she concluded.

In the filing, Blumenthal refers to Martin's statements at the conference and said she ignored evidence to the contrary that was submitted prior to the January 29 decision. "If this is the true basis for her use of state recognition that the state recognition was based on the same process as federal recognition resulting in a government-to-government relationship it reflects a gross distortion and misunderstanding of the evidence about the state's relationship," he writes.

Martin is the second-in-command at the BIA but is in charge of federal recognition because assistant secretary Dave Anderson, who didn't join the Bush administration until the week following the Schaghticoke decision, has recused himself from any recognition matters. A BIA spokesperson said he didn't want his previous work in Indian gaming to cloud the issue.

The state's appeal will tie up the tribe's status for at least a year. Depending on how the situation plays out, Blumenthal could seek review by the courts, extending the battle even longer.

The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation applied for recognition in 1981 but is split by rival groups. The tribe has several land claims in the courts that depend on resolution of the tribe's federal status.

Schaghticoke Chief Richard Velky issued a statement yesterday blasting the state's appeal. "The Attorney General's appeal is nothing more than his latest media event -- just another frivolous lawsuit at the expense of Connecticut taxpayers," he said.

The tribe's recognition petition was financed by Frederick A. DeLuca, the founder of the Subway sandwich chain, who hopes to help the tribe seek land for a casino, possibly in Bridgeport, where such development is welcomed.

The tribe's reservation, near the New York border, is considered unsuitable for commercial use. The leader of Kent, the town near the reservation, has joined Blumenthal's appeal.

Relevant Documents:
State Appeal Documents | Federal Register Notice

Relevant Links:
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation - http://www.schaghticoke.com

Related Stories:
BIA critical of main components of recognition bill (04/22)
BIA official warns of Congressional maneuvering (04/16)
Report: Martin bent rules to recognize Conn. tribe (3/12)
Challenges await Anderson on federal recognition (02/26)
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation: 'Today is our day' (1/30)
Lack of evidence addressed in recognition bill (02/19)
Sweeping recognition reform bill offered (02/07)
At BIA, no recognition of new tribes (2/5)
BIA recognition still hard to prove for some (01/22)
McCaleb 'throwing away a history of people' (12/06)
McCaleb delivers aggressive recognition plan (10/03)
BIA role in recognition decisions under review (06/13)
McCaleb ruling holds promise for state tribes (06/25)
McCaleb makes recognition history (6/25)
BIA project consumes recognition resources (06/12)
BIA recognition staff fails pressure test (05/31)

Copyright 2000-2004 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
First Lady Michelle Obama shares story of hope with Indian school (5/26)
Remarks by First Lady Michelle Obama at Santa Fe Indian School (5/26)
Gary Davis of NCAIED joins Small Business Administration council (5/26)
Arne Vainio: A mother's gift carried me through many life journeys (5/26)
Native Sun News: Tribes score big in fights against energy projects (5/26)
Lakota Country Times: Education Secretary hears from Pine Ridge (5/26)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Ending Whiteclay beer sales starts at home (5/26)
Vi Waln: Rosebud Sioux youth lead efforts to bring relatives home (5/26)
Gyasi Ross: Drug epidemic sweeping through Native communities (5/26)
Jacqueline Keeler: Shameful and skewed poll on racist NFL name (5/26)
Interview with Melvin Monette about Cobell scholarship program (5/26)
Auction house in France won't stop sale of sacred tribal property (5/26)
United Keetoowah Band installs new leader after impeachment (5/26)
Kewa Pueblo builds new community around historic trading post (5/26)
Eastern Cherokee elder translates 'Charlotte's Web' into Tsalagi (5/26)
Puyallup Tribe works to keep language alive for new generations (5/26)
Iowa Tribe offers free play on poker website ahead of full launch (5/26)
Alabama-Coushatta Tribe offers gaming options closer to home (5/26)
Kaw Nation receives national award for tribal gaming initiatives (5/26)
Indian Health Service reform efforts gaining steam on Capitol Hill (5/25)
Indian Health Service announces more hires at troubled hospital (5/25)
Keepseagle attorneys open application process for $38M in grants (5/25)
Three tribes enter cooperative agreements for buy-back program (5/25)
New leader selected for HUD's Office of Native American Programs (5/25)
Indian relay racers gear up for event hosted by Muckleshoot Tribe (5/25)
Cronkite News: Tribes seek return of property up for sale in France (5/25)
Native Sun News: Anti-suicide effort incorporates tribal traditions (5/25)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge youth showcase film projects (5/25)
Mark Trahant: Native vote victory for Tawna Sanchez in Oregon (5/25)
Brandon Ecoffey: Lakota people come together in times of need (5/25)
Editorial: Tribes must come up with plan for return of Black Hills (5/25)
John McCoy: Disenrollment and blood quantum are not our way (5/25)
Adrian Jawort: Addressing race relations and healing in Montana (5/25)
Fort Peck Tribes oppose new directive on transgender students (5/25)
Leader of United Keetoowah Band ousted through impeachment (5/25)
Agua Caliente Band launches software development company (5/25)
Sen. Barrasso to chair platform committee for GOP convention (5/25)
Cowlitz Tribe welcomes discussions with opponent over casino (5/25)
Little Traverse Bay Bands open doors to Class II gaming facility (5/25)
Tuolumne Band celebrates 15th birthday with casino expansion (5/25)
Former Winnebago Tribe casino employee denies theft charge (5/25)
Proposed rule brings LGBT equality to tribal housing programs (5/24)
Chairman of Quapaw Tribe endorses Democrat Hillary Clinton (5/24)
Appropriations bill blocks new federal recognition regulation (5/24)
Native American Children's Safety Act clears final Hill hurdle (5/24)
9th Circuit won't rehear Tohono O'odham Nation gaming case (5/24)
Lakota Country Times: Army promises return of tribal children (5/24)
Native Sun News: New business sprouts up at Wounded Knee (5/24)
Mark Trahant: Tulalip citizen lands role in Democratic platform (5/24)
Brandon Ecoffey: Pine Ridge unites for search of missing men (5/24)
Men who went missing found dead on Pine Ridge Reservation (5/24)
Billy Mills: Flawed poll can't justify use of team's racist mascot (5/24)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.