Indianz.Com on SoundCloud: House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States - Legislative Hearing - April 3, 2019

AUDIO: House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States hearing

The House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States took testimony on tribal homelands and tribal consultation legislation at a hearing on Wednesday afternoon.

Two of the bills focused on the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar. The ruling has created great uncertainty for recently recognized tribes that are seeking restore their homelands through the land-into-trust process.

"We don't create tribes out of whole cloth in this country," said Kevin Washburn, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation who serves as dean of the University of Iowa College of Law.

'Those tribes have always existed," added Washburn, who oversaw the Bureau of Indian Affairs during the later years of the Obama administration. "They deserve to have land if they existed."

Both H.R.375, which clarifies that any federally recognized Indian tribe" can follow the land-into-trust process, and H.R.312, which protects the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe from losing its homelands in Massachusetts as a result of Carcieri, saw bipartisan support at the hearing. The only objection came from an official from the state of Rhode Island who admitted that the opposition was based solely on the prospect of a tribally-operated casino across the border.

The third item on the agenda was the Requirements, Expectations, and Standard Procedures for Executive Consultation with Tribes Act, also known as the RESPECT Act. The bill requires federal agencies to develop "meaningful" tribal consultation policies and creates a legal right for tribes when those policies aren't followed.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Arizona), the chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, is circulating a draft discussion version of the bill in order to gain more input from Indian Country.

The hearing lasted about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Audio can be found on the Indianz.Com SoundCloud.

House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States Notice
Indigenous Peoples Legislative Hearing (April 3, 2019)

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