Rep. Arcuri tried to block Oneida land-into-trust

The Oneida Nation slammed Rep. Michael Arcuri (D-New York) for trying to block the Bureau of Indian Affairs from processing the tribe's land-into-trust application.

Arcuri tried to insert a rider into a land management bill that would have blocked the use of federal funds to acquire land for the tribe, or its members, for a period of six months. He did so without prior public hearing and without consulting the tribe.

"His bill was on a fast track to be heard within 24 hours, without any public input, then to be presented to the full House of Representatives the very next day. Have you ever heard of Congress doing anything within two days?" Oneida spokesperson Mark Emery said.

Arcuri ended up withdrawing the rider, which he presented to the House Rules Committee. The House Natural Resources Committee is the normal venue for addressing Indian issues.

The BIA is making a final decision later this month on the tribe's request to have 17,000 acres placed in trust. A final environmental impact statement recommended 13,000 acres in trust.

Get the Story:
Arcuri attempts to stall decision on land into tru (The Utica Observer-Dispatch 4/8)
Mark Emery: Nation spokesman says Arcuri’s ‘secret’ legislation is discriminatory, immoral (The Utica Observer-Dispatch 4/8)

Relevant Documents:
Final EIS (March 2008) | Draft EIS (November 2006)

Federal Register Notice:
Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Transfer From Fee to Trust of Parcels Owned by the Oneida Indian Nation of New York in Oneida and Madison Counties, New York (February 22, 2008)

From the Indianz.Com Archive:
BIA official calls high court ruling 'quite depressing' (March 31, 2005)
Major defeat for Oneida Nation in Supreme Court case (March 30, 2005)

Relevant Links:
Oneida Nation Trust -
Oneida Nation, New York -
Indian Nation Fee-to-Trust Land Acquisition Applications in New York State -
Oneida Indian Nation's Land Into Trust Application, Madison County -

Sherrill v. Oneida Nation Decision:
Syllabus | Opinion [Ginsburg] | Concurrence [Souter] | Dissent [Stevens]

Related Stories:
Cason 'elusive' on Oneida Nation decision (4/4)
BIA still reviewing Oneida Nation land-into-trust (3/31)
Oneida Nation, county meet for first time in years (3/28)
Oneida Nation asks BIA for all 17,000 acres in trust (3/25)
County discusses Oneida Nation land-into-trust (03/07)
Cason to follow through on Oneida land-into-trust (2/25)
BIA to rule on Oneida trust lands request (2/22)
Cason to brief counties on Oneida land-into-trust (2/22)