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Federal Recognition
Tribes vow fight after being denied recognition

Stunned and disappointed, leaders of two Connecticut tribes said their struggle to gain federal recognition would not end despite rejection from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

"The Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation has never shied away from a challenge. Today's decision is a disappointment, but it is far from the end of the long struggle to confirm the heritage we know is ours," said Chairwoman Nancy Tyler in a statement [Link].

Richard Velky, the chief of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, also vowed a fight in the courts. "We've answered everything," Velky said, The Connecticut Post reported. "We were given recognition in 2004, and because of politics it was taken away."

State reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Gov. Jodi Rell (R), Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) and members of the state's Congressional delegation said the BIA made the right call in rejecting the tribes.

Blumenthal, who has been fighting tribes on recognition, gaming, taxation and land-into-trust issues, is expecting a court fight. But he said plans for any more casinos in the state are "dead."

The decisions from the BIA were reconsidered final determinations. Deputy associate secretary Jim Cason, the acting assistant secretary for Indian affairs, said the tribes failed to meet all of the mandatory recognition criteria.

The decisions were required because the Interior Board of Indian Appeals held that the BIA's prior rulings on the tribes relied too much on their 300-plus year history with the state.

Get the Story:
Schaghticoke claim denied (The Connecticut Post 10/13)
Tribe vows to continue to fight for heritage (The Kent News-Times 10/13)
Feds deny tribes� recognition (The New Haven Register 10/13)
No Doubts: Indians Lose (The Hartford Courant 10/13)
Leader vows tribe will keep fighting (The Norwich Bulletin 10/13)
Feds reject tribal bids (The Norwich Bulletin 10/13)
Easterns, Schaghticokes Denied Federal Recognition (The New London Day 10/13)
Lawmakers Say BIA Ruling Against Recognition Was The Correct Decison (The New London Day 10/13)

IBIA Decisions:
Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation | Schaghticoke Tribal Nation

Only on Indianz.Com:
Federal Recognition Database V2.0 (May 2005)

Relevant Links:
Interior Board of Indian Appeals Decisions -

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