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

Printer friendly version
Sweeping recognition reform bill offered
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2003

The leaders of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee introduced a bipartisan measure this week to reform federal recognition but unlike earlier proposals, the bill doesn't strip the Bureau of Indian Affairs of its role in the controversial process.

Instead, Sens. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.) and Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) want the BIA to establish a review and advisory board to help out when thorny disputes arise, as they have in recent years. This still conflicts with efforts currently underway to elevate the Branch of Acknowledgment and Research (BAR) to its own office.

But the bill addresses a key sticking point of former assistant secretary Neal McCaleb. Although his predecessor, Kevin Gover, backed Campbell's earlier attempt to strip the BIA of its recognition duties, he opposed such a move.

"Notwithstanding the instances of failure at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, I think it is still the most sensitive and aware agency within the United States government," he told Campbell back in June 2001.

In introducing the Federal Acknowledgment Process Reform Act on Tuesday, Campbell said it addresses "criticisms of the FAP by increasing the transparency, consistency and integrity of the process, and at the same time removes some of the bureaucratic hurdles that have caused the process to be too costly and time-consuming."

The review board, he said, will give credibility to federal recognition decisions. Composed of nine independent experts in anthropology, genealogy, law and history, the BIA can call upon them to resolve complex issues. With the exception of the historian, all are required to have doctorates in their field.

"The board will give the Assistant Secretary greater assurance in the soundness of his determination, and will provide a more solid foundation for any later appellate review," Campbell said.

Gover, a presidential appointee, was criticized for not always agreeing with BIA researchers who evaluate evidence by groups seeking federal status. In six separate instances, he determined that the tribes were deserving, despite holes in the historical record.

The bill affirms the right of the assistant secretary to overrule the researchers. Campbell last year asked the Department of Interior's attorneys to clarify that power.

Beyond the review board, the bill makes other significant changes. Appeals of recognition decisions would head straight to court instead of the Interior Board of Indian Appeals (IBIA).

The BIA will not be required to respond to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests until a petitioner has submitted all paperwork and evidence. The bill authorizes the Department of Justice to assist in dissemination of public information and appropriates a total of $5 million over four years.

The BIA's fiscal year 2004 budget requests about $900,000 to carry out its recognition duties. The Campbell-Inouye bill beefs this up to $5 million a year from 2004 through 2013.

According to Teresa Rosier, the counselor to acting assistant secretary Aurene Martin, the Bush administration hasn't reviewed the bill yet. It was brought up at the United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) meeting in suburban Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

Get the Bill:
Federal Acknowledgment Process Reform Act of 2003 (S.297)

Related Stories:
At BIA, no recognition of new tribes (2/5)
Trust programs see historic increase (2/4)
Troubled Indian programs prompt GAO criticism (01/31)
BIA recognition still hard to prove for some (01/22)
McCaleb latest in long line of DOI departures (11/25)
McCaleb changed, yes, but little else did (11/22)
McCaleb delivers aggressive recognition plan (10/03)
BIA role in recognition decisions under review (06/13)
Dropping performance blamed on weak leadership (04/08)
BIA Budget: Doing more with less (3/26)
Bush budget cuts funds for new tribes (3/20)
McCaleb takes on recognition (3/15)
Inside the BIA, plenty of drama (3/4)
Ashcroft urged to charge BIA officials (3/1)
Solutions sought for 'hijacked' recognition (11/9)
Gover: Recognition study 'cooked' (11/1)
Reforming federal recognition (10/26)
Gover takes on recognition (10/25)
McCaleb to listen 'closely' to recognition experts (8/9)
McCaleb decision sure to draw scrutiny (7/31)
BIA pushed to provide 'answers' on tribes (7/26)
McCaleb endorses BIA on recognition (6/14)
Gover's 'activist' legacy escapes McCaleb (6/13)
BIA has small goal for big problem (5/22)

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Designation sought for Cheyenne warrior site (3/30)
Mark Charles: Nation was built on the dehumanization of others (3/30)
Kevin Abourezk: Students retrace journey of Chief Standing Bear (3/30)
Julianne Jennings: Taking care of our eyesight in Indian Country (3/30)
BIA official expected to be released from hospital after stabbing (3/30)
BIA delays ruling on Pamunkey Tribe federal recognition petition (3/30)
Fort Peck Tribes might scale back plans for first gaming facility (3/30)
Native Sun News: Businesses show support for LNI tournament (3/27)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux fighter climbing in the ranks (3/27)
Mark Trahant: Alaska Natives look 10,000 years into the future (3/27)
Ivan Star: The influences of boarding school and Vietnam War (3/27)
Gyasi Ross: Funerals become family reunions in Indian Country (3/27)
Tim Giago hands over the reins as publisher of Native Sun News (3/27)
House committee passes Native American Children's Safety Act (3/27)
Bill to benefit Miami Nation moves forward in House and Senate (3/27)
City extended contract to send treated sewage to sacred peaks (3/27)
Oneida Nation welcomes ruling backing land-into-trust request (3/27)
Lawmakers want BIA to delay new federal recognition reforms (3/27)
Another conviction from Chippewa Cree Tribe corruption probe (3/27)
Editorial: Shakopee Tribe contributes $5M for health initiative (3/27)
Opinion: Navajo Nation enacts 'sin tax' on unhealthy products (3/27)
Editorial: Opposition to Pamunkey Tribe recognition 'revolting' (3/27)
Dennis Jenkins: Hypocrisy for new tribal casinos in Connecticut (3/27)
Supreme Court asked to hear Kialegee Tribal Town gaming case (3/27)
Ho-Chunk Nation extends agreement for off-reservation casino (3/27)
Indiana lawmakers seek role in Pokagon Band gaming compact (3/27)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux leader not pleased with boycott (3/26)
Lakota Country Times: Lakota Nation Invitational stays in Rapid (3/26)
Native Sun News: Mayor of Rapid City addresses race relations (3/26)
Jane Daugherty: Tribal e-commerce continues to draw scrutiny (3/26)
Witness list for Senate Indian Affairs Committee's field hearing (3/26)
Richard Iron Cloud: Remove murderer's name from sacred peak (3/26)
Native Youth: Bring dental therapy providers to Indian Country (3/26)
Steven Newcomb: Tribal nations still under dominating process (3/26)
Law firm hosts tribes for session on marijuana in Indian Country (3/26)
Judge upholds BIA decision on Oneida Nation land-into-trust bid (3/26)
Appeals court rules against Crow Tribe in housing grant dispute (3/26)
Ho-Chunk Nation raises minimum wage to $2.75 above federal (3/26)
Mishewal Wappo Tribe to appeal decision in recognition lawsuit (3/26)
Racist emails of former Montana federal judge to be preserved (3/26)
Shingle Springs Band considered but rejected indoor gun range (3/26)
House panel backs bill to block Tohono O'odham Nation casino (3/26)
Quapaw Tribe did not include casino on land-into-trust request (3/26)
Chumash Tribe never got apology for diplomat's casino remark (3/26)
Governor won't sign casino compact with Fort Sill Apache Tribe (3/26)
Cherokee Nation approves $6.9M renovation project for casino (3/26)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux veteran training for Paralympics (3/25)
Alaska Native musher Chuck Schaeffer completes 2015 Iditarod (3/25)
LTBB News: Michigan tribes come together for historic meeting (3/25)
Lecture focuses on repatriation of tribal intellectual properties (3/25)
Board still working on delivering money for Cobell scholarships (3/25)
Sen. Barrasso to chair field hearing on drugs in Indian Country (3/25)
Bill for tribal marijuana compacts up for hearing in Washington (3/25)
Choctaw Nation chief hopes to travel to Ireland for monument (3/25)
HHS urged to do more to help tribes with foster care programs (3/25)
Eastern Cherokees work to teach language to new generations (3/25)
Another suggestion for Indian woman on $20 bill -- Sakakawea (3/25)
Man from Crow Tribe cites self-defense in fatal casino shooting (3/25)
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.