Federal Recognition

Secretary Salazar won't testify for federal recognition hearing

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has declined an invitation to testify before the House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs.

The subcommittee is holding a hearing this Wednesday on federal recognition. Neither Salazar, nor anyone from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, has agreed to appear.

This isn't the first time that's happened. At some prior hearings on Indian issues, the Obama administration declined to send a top-ranking BIA official to the subcommittee, instead choosing to send mid-level directors.

During the 112th Congress, former Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk only appeared before the subcommittee once, according to the Interior Department's Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs. He left the administration in May.

During the 111th Congress, Echo Hawk never testified before the House Natural Resources Committee, according to the OCL.

This week's hearing takes place at 2pm in Room 1334 of the Longworth House Office Building. The witness list follows:
Panel I
The Honorable Ken Salazar*
Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior

Stephen R. Adkins
Chief, Chickahominy Tribe

Scott Gabaldon
Tribal Chair, Mishewal Wappo Tribe of Alexander Valley

Ann Tucker
Chairwoman, Muscogee Nation

Framon Weaver
Chief, MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians

The Honorable Diane Dillon
Supervisor, Napa County District 3

* Witness declined to testify.

Committee Notice:
Oversight Hearing on Authorization, standards, and procedures for whether, how, and when Indian tribes should be newly recognized by the federal government (June 27, 2012)

Related Stories:
Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs sets hearing (6/19