Federal Recognition

Tejon Indian Tribe to start preparing for future as newest tribe

Leaders of the newest federally recognized tribe will be meeting soon to prepare a plan for their future.

Vice chairman Jim Appodaca of the Tejon Indian Tribe of California said health care, education and housing are top priorities. "We really don't know what's next," he told The Bakersfield Californian. "The council will meet and we'll start putting together a plan."

The tribe was inadvertently left off the list of federally recognized tribes, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Appodaca said the tribe supplied documentation to show that it maintained a government-to-government relationship with the U.S. throughout the 1900s.

"Upon review of the facts and history of this matter, including prior Assistant Secretaries’ decisions, I hereby reaffirm the federal relationship between the United States and the Tejon Indian Tribe, thus concluding the long and unfortunate omission of the Tejon Indian Tribe from the list of federally recognized tribes," Assistant Secretary Larry Echo Hawk said in a letter, according to a BIA press release.

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