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Federal Recognition
Schaghticoke tribe wants to submit new evidence

The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation of Connecticut is asking a federal judge to delay a final decision on its federal recognition in order to allow the submission of additional evidence.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs is refusing to accept new evidence from the tribe in light of a recent decision from the Interior Board of Indian Appeals. The board ruled that the BIA relied too heavily on the tribe's state recognition to patch up holes in the evidentiary record.

Currently, the BIA is expected to issue a revised final determination in September. But the Schaghticokes say they should be allowed time to hold technical meetings and submit more evidence.

The tribe had won a positive final determination in January 2004 after submitting a petition in 1981. The decision cited the long relationship between the tribe and the state, which acted as an overseer for more than 300 years.

The tribe is headed by Chief Richard Velky, who enlisted the support of Subway Restaurants founder Fred DeLuca to back the recognition bid. DeLuca eventually poured more than $12 million into the tribe.

A rival group is headed by Alan Russell, who is Velky's cousin. Russell said he represents the true Schaghticokes, a view shared by some locals. "Velky's group are the Casino Indians, and Alan is a Schaghticoke Indian," one tells The Hartford Courant.

The paper is running a special package on the tribe, its internal struggles and its battle for recognition.

Get the Story:
Schaghticoke demand explanation (Indian Country Today 6/27)
A Tribal CEO Stakes His Claim (The Hartford Courant 6/27)
Recognition Twists And Turns (The Hartford Courant 6/27)
In The Mist, He Clings To The Past (The Hartford Courant 6/27)

IBIA Decisions:
Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation | Schaghticoke Tribal Nation

Only on Indianz.Com:
Federal Recognition Database V2.0 (July 2004)

Relevant Links:
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation -
Interior Board of Indian Appeals Decisions -

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