National | Federal Recognition

Federal recognition reforms might not help tribes in Connecticut

Three tribes in Connecticut might not benefit from reforms in the federal recognition process due to opposition in their state.

The Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation, the Golden Hill Paugussett Tribe and the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation were denied recognition through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. A proposed rule allows them to petition again but only in limited circumstances.

"First, if the original final determination was reconsidered before IBIA or appealed to a United States District Court and a third party participated in the reconsideration or appeal, then that third party must consent to the re‐petitioning," the BIA said in a FAQ. "This condition recognizes third‐party interests in adjudicated decisions."

The Eastern Pequots, Schaghticokes and Paugussetts all went before the Interior Board of Indian Appeals so that condition appears to be satisfied. However, opposition from the state of Connecticut, which participated as a third party in all of the cases, means the tribes would never gain their consent to petition again.

All three tribes are recognized by the state and reside on state-recognized reservations.

Get the Story:
BIA latest recognition proposal is blow to CT tribes (The Connecticut Mirror 5/22)
New fed rules on tribes (AP 5/22)
Battles Brewing Over Proposed Tribal-Recognition Rules (The National Journal 5/22)
Changes Proposed for Tribal Recognition Rules (NBC 5/22)
Obama Pushes Change That Could Pave Way For More Casinos (The Hartford Courant 5/23)
New rules for tribal recognition proposed, could affect Eastern Pequots (The New London Day 5/23)

Relevant Documents:
Proposed Rule | Press Release | Comparison Chart (comparing current rule to proposed rule) | Response to Comments on June 2013 Discussion Draft | Frequently Asked Questions

Related Stories:
BIA announces regulation to reform federal recognition process (5/22)
Opinion: Federal recognition matters influenced by lobbyists (03/14)
Editorial: Connecticut argues against its own recognized tribes (3/13)
Editorial: Some Indians become inconvenient for Connecticut (3/7)
Editorial: Don't let BIA water down federal recognition process (3/6)
Connecticut governor opposes BIA federal recognition reforms (2/27) Connecticut politicians want BIA to drop recognition reform (8/30)
Connecticut leads opposition to federal recognition reforms (8/26)
BIA extends comment period on federal recognition proposal (08/13)

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