A property housing the Samish longhouse is part of the Samish Nation's land-into-trust application. Photo: Samish Nation Presentation
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Samish Nation still waiting for decisions on land-into-trust applications

For those needing proof of the delays associated with the land-into-trust process, look no further than the Samish Nation.

It took the Bureau of Indian Affairs eight years to make a decision on the tribe's application for a 1-acre property in Washington, The Anacortes American reported. Another application has been under review since 2011, with no end in sight. The status of a third application remains unclear.

“If you know anything about Samish, we persevere,”Chairman Tom Wooten told the city council in Anacortes last week, the paper reported.

After hearing the chairman speak, the city council on July 10 voted to support H.R.2320, the Samish Indian Nation Land Conveyance Act, according to minutes from the meeting. The bill places about 76 acres in trust for the tribe.

A property housing the Samish Nation's administration building is part of the tribe's land-into-trust application. Photo: Samish Nation Presentation

Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Washington) has repeatedly introduced the bill but it has failed to advance in prior sessions of Congress. The tribe also submitted an application to the BIA for those same parcels but no decision has been made either.

The inaction represents a long pattern of delay on the part of the federal government. The BIA inadvertently left the tribe off the list of federally recognized entities in 1969. The tribe finally regained its status in 1996, following years of litigation.

Read More on the Story:
City supports Samish effort to move land to trust (The Anacortes American 7/12)