Principal Chief James Floyd of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation addresses the National Johnson O’Malley Association Conference in April 2018. Photo: MCN Public Relations

Witness list for Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing

Note: The business meeting has been pushed back to 3pm Eastern. It will be immediately followed by the legislative hearing.
The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs is taking up three bills at a legislative hearing on Wednesday.

The bills address issues for tribes in Arizona, North Dakota and Oklahoma. The witness list follows:
Acting Director
Bureau of Indian Affairs
U.S. Department of the Interior
Washington, DC

Principal Chief
Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma
Okmulgee, OK

Vice Chairman
Spirit Lake Tribe
Fort Totten, ND

Gila River Indian Community
Sacaton, AZ

The bills on the agenda follow:
S.2788, a bill to repeal state jurisdiction on the Spirit Lake Nation in North Dakota. The reservation currently falls under a termination-era law that subjects American Indians to prosecution by the state. The federal government will still have jurisdiction if the bill were to become law.

H.R.2606, the Stigler Act Amendments of 2018. The bill ensures that landowners who are citizens of the Cherokee Nation, the Chickasaw Nation, the Choctaw Nation, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and the Seminole Nation can pass on their trust lands and allotted lands without worrying about blood quantum. Currently, such lands lose their protected status if the owner's blood quantum falls below one-half, a requirement that's not imposed on any other landowners in Indian Country. The House passed the bill on September 12 but action is still needed in the Senate before it can become law.

H.R.4032, the Gila River Indian Community Federal Rights-of-Way, Easements and Boundary Clarification Act. The bill resolves a number of rights-of-way, easement and boundary issues for the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona. The House passed the bill on July 17 but action is still needed in the Senate before it can become law.

The hearing takes place immediately following a business meeting at 2:30pm Eastern on Wednesday. The entire session will be webcast at

The current session of Congress concludes at the end of December. If the bills do not become law, they would have to be reintroduced during the 116th session, which begins in January 2019.

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Notices
Business Meeting To Consider S. 1942 (November 14, 2018)
Legislative Hearing to Receive Testimony on S. 2788, H.R. 2606 & H.R. 4032 (November 14, 2018)

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