DOI solicitor can't recall Schaghticoke details
Interior Department Solicitor David Bernhardt gave 34 ''I don't recall'' responses when asked about his role in the federal recognition of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation of Connecticut, Indian Country Today reports.

Bernhardt couldn't remember if he attended meetings or who attended meetings to discuss the tribe's case. His recollection of a March 2004 meeting with members of Connecticut's congressional delegation differed from former Interior secretary Gale Norton's.

At another meeting to discuss a key aspect of the tribe's recognition, he said associate deputy secretary Jim Cason was definitely not there. Yet Cason eventually signed off on the decision against the tribe.

The tribe is suing DOI in hopes of overturning the negative decision. The tribe wants to call former BIA official Aurene Martin, who had ruled in favor of recognition, to testify about Bernhardt's involvement.

According to the tribe, Martin has information about Bernhardt's visits to the White House to discuss the case. She has previously testified that the tribe had one of the best documented petitions.

Get the Story:
Interior Solicitor David Bernhardt in the spotlight (Indian Country Today 6/4)
Schaghticoke seeks ruling against attorney general (Indian Country Today 6/4)

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Federal Recognition Database V2.0 (May 2005)

Relevant Links:
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation - http://www.schaghticoke.com
Interior Board of Indian Appeals Decisions - http://www.ibiadecisions.com

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