Politics | Trust

Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs hearing

The House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs will hold a hearing next Tuesday, February 7.

The hearing will focus on H.R.3532, the American Indian Empowerment Act of 2011. The bill requires the Interior Department to take land out of trust and place it in restricted status within 180 days of a tribes' request.

The bill also requires DOI to submit, to the Federal Register, a copy of a tribes' laws regarding its restricted fee lands. Tribal laws will "preempt" all federal laws or regulations, H.R.3532 states.

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), the chairman of the subcommittee, said the bill will allow tribes to use their land without interference from the federal government. By having land in restricted fee status, tribes won't have to seek DOI's approval for every single action.

“For far too long, the federal government has stood in the way of our Native people instead of empowering them,” Young said in a press release. “This bill is going to change that by empowering America’s first people to use their lands the way they see fit."

Young pointed out that the restricted fee land will remain free from alienation and free from state taxation. The land also will still be considered Indian Country.

The hearing takes place at 2pm in Room 1324 of the Longworth House Office Building.

Committee Notice:
Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Legislative Hearing on H.R. 3532 (February 7, 2012)

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