Little Shell Chippewa Tribe loses recognition bid
The Bureau of Indian Affairs has denied federal recognition petition to the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe of Montana.

The Clinton administration issued a proposed finding in favor of the tribe in May 2000 but warned of potential holes in the petition. The Bush administration kept delaying a final determination on the matter.

“Although this decision is disappointing, it’s hardly surprising from a federal agency that’s procrastinated for more than 30 years,” Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Montana) said in a statement to The Great Falls Tribune. “This decision makes it all the more important to pass my legislation which would circumvent this red-tape once and for all and secure the Little Shell the recognition they have in Montana for almost a decade.”

The Obama administration's decision marks the second time in BIA history that a favorable proposed finding has been reversed. The Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation of Connecticut was rejected in October 2005.

The final determination was made by George Skibine, the acting principal deputy assistant secretary at the BIA. Assistant Secretary Larry EchoHawk is recused on Little Shell because the tribe has been represented by the Native American Rights Fund, an organization run by his brother, John.

Get the Story:
Little Shell recognition bid rejected (The Great Falls Tribune 10/27)
Indian Affairs won't recognize Little Shell Tribe (AP 10/27)

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